Anton du Beke has a Strictly first during Halloween week: ‘It's absolutely wonderful!’

The Strictly Come Dancing veteran is partnered with EastEnders star Emma Barton this year

Anton du Beke made his own Strictly history on Saturday night after dancing the first number of the evening – for the first time ever!

The pro dancer, who is partnered with Emma Barton, has appeared in all 17 series so far but until last night had never opened the show.

Revealing the shocking fact to co-host Claudia Winkleman, Emma said: “Anton said to me earlier in rehearsals 'I don't think I've ever opened a show on Strictly.'"

Anton replied: "Can't remember doing it before that… it's absolutely wonderful!"

The couple performed a Tango and were met with mixed reactions from the judges, but managed to score a fairly impressive 28 points.

Telling Claudia of her experience, the EastEnders actress added: "That’s the best I felt I’d done it this evening and I was really thrilled because I really wanted to do well for Anton."

Anton du Beke

Anton has been with Strictly since it first aired but reportedly threatened to quit ahead of the 2019 series after he was snubbed for a spot on the judging panel.

The professional dancer is said to have thrown a tantrum after it was announced that Oti Mabuse’s sister, Motsi Mabuse, was chosen to replace Dame Darcey Bussell instead of him.

Anton previously admitted on Graham Norton’s Radio 2 show that he’s the man “qualified” to take over Darcey’s role.

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing gets surprise visit from ROYALTY!

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“Do you know what? I’m certainly qualified,” Anton replied when asked by Graham if he’d like the job.

“I suspect there’ll be conversations going on, but it’s one of those things… I’m definitely qualified to do it, I’d love to do it, but we’ll have to wait to be asked in the normal way.

“I wish I could make the decision for them, but if I could do that I’d have made the final 12 times.”

However, it all seems to have worked out well for Anton as he’s scoring some of his best ever marks this year with Emma – and Motsi is doing a fabulous job as Darcey’s replacement!

Jenni McKnight

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo!  Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.