Celebrity Interview: Anton Du Beke

Anton and Erin
Anton and Erin

The lifestyle of the average Strictly Come Dancing professional is enough to send anyone’s head into a spin.

Anton Du Beke may only recently have finished grinning and tip-tapping his way across our screens, as part of the high-rating BBC One show, but his next dance project is already under way; rehearsals for a national tour with fellow Strictly professional, Erin Boag.

The Anton & Erin Go to Hollywood tour will start its run at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate on Thursday, January 17 and Friday, January 18.

This year, the dancing duo will be accompanied by a 25-piece orchestra, and singer Lance Ellington, in a show which focuses on the golden years of the film musicals.

Anton said: “We were both out of the competition early this year, but could both start work putting choreography together. On January 2 we went into the studio and put together the main body of the work.

“We do that until January 17 when we open in Northampton. We always open at the lovely Derngate theatre and always have a great time there.”

In this year’s Strictly Come Dancing competition, Anton was memorably partnered by former model, Jerry Hall. But what did he think of his statuesque dance partner?

He said: “It was so exciting to be dancing with her. She is such an iconic person with character and personality, I was looking forward to spending time with her.

“She is tough, she is such a funny woman with a great sense of humour and a great turn of phrase. Sadly you did not get to hear all of her one-liners.”

This year’s competition was won by the gymnastics king, Louis Smith, and tango queen, Flavia Cacace, but just how desperate is Anton to clinch the coveted ‘Strictly’ trophy?

He said: “I don’t honestly give it a lot of thought, because it isn’t about that. But the longer you are in the show the more the desire to win grows.

“I do think anyone can dance and I remain friends with all of my dance partners, Nancy (Dell’Olio), Jerry, Kate (Garraway), all of them.”

Anton also refused to be drawn on naming anyone he would most like to dance with.

“I wouldn’t like to choose people,” he said. “People always say ‘would you like to win?’ and ‘who would you like to dance with?’ but if I had got one of the favourites then I wouldn’t have got Ann Widdecombe and then I wouldn’t have had all of those great times we had a couple of years ago.”

On top of all of this, Anton is also now a well-known presenter of TV shows such as Hole in the Wall and has even found time to publish his latest instructional dance book, B is for Ballroom.

Anton is lucky that his 17-year professional dance partnership with Erin has been somewhat more successful than his winning record on Strictly.

He said: “I always go by the rule that Erin is always right, and that is a good one to stick by.

“Everything we do is difficult but it is something we enjoy.

“I love it and think I’m a very lucky boy.”

For ticket info, log on to www.royalandderngate.co.uk or ring 01604 624811.