Anton Du Beke reveals he was once turned down as a Strictly judge

Strictly 2020 logo
(Image credit: BBC)

We didn't expect this!

Strictly Come Dancing professional Anton Du Beke revealed he once auditioned to become a judge, and was sadly turned down. He's most well known as a ballroom dancer, partnering with many celebrities on the competition, but it could've looked a lot different if he'd been in the judge's seat!

Appearing on Steph's Packed Lunch, Anton opened up about the experience being rejected for the coveted role. He said: "You know what they say about you lose more than you win?

"When Len left Strictly Come Dancing, they interviewed and auditioned a number of people to take over… I auditioned for it and I got turned down!"

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However, Anton wasn't disheartened by this decision, and added: "It doesn't mean it's the end, it just means you go "well ok, I can go again"'.

Despite not getting Len Goodman's judging position, Anton did get to experience life on the other side of the ballroom after covering for Motsi Mabuse who had to temporarily drop out due to coronavirus quarantining rules.

He added that he was grateful to be part of the show again, after leaving the competition early. Anton was partnered with former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for the 2020 competition, but sadly she was the first to be eliminated.

He said:"When you're voted off at the beginning, it's easy not to feel part of the show because you're sitting in the audience watching everyone else dance. So thank goodness they gave me the judging job."

Despite enjoying his two week judging role, he went on to admit he "hadn't given much thought" to the possibility of doing it full time again. So it doesn't look like he'll be leaving the dancefloor any time soon!

Steph's Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12:30pm on Channel 4. 

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress