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THIS Strictly Come Dancing star is vying for Dame Darcey Bussell’s job

Dame Darcey Bussell quits Strictly Come Dancing
(Image credit: BBC)

“I’m definitely qualified”

Dame Darcey Bussell shocked Strictly Come Dancing fans when she announced on Wednesday that she has quit the show after seven years on the judges’ panel.

But with her seat barely vacated, talk has already turned to who could replace her – and one Strictly pro has publicly announced that he wants to be the one to fill the void.

Anton Du Beke announced on Graham Norton’s Radio 2 show on Saturday that he’d love to become a judge and believes he’s the man “qualified” to take over Darcey’s role.

Following Brendan's departure, Anton Du Beke reveals he's waiting to hear if he'll be back on Strictly

“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.”

Anton also revealed that Darcey’s exit came as a complete shock to the cast of Strictly, much like Pasha Kovalev, who quit the series after eight years in February.

Dame Darcey Bussell with the Strictly Come Dancing team

End of an era! Dame Darcey Bussell is leaving behind her Strictly Come Dancing co-judges, Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas (Image credit: BBC)

Anton added: “I didn't know that Pasha was going to leave, that was a bolt out the blue as well. He never mentioned anything last year. Apparently, he never mentioned anything to Ashley [Roberts], his partner, either.

“And Darcey, exactly the same. Absolutely out of the blue.”

The 49-year-old star, who joined Strictly Come Dancing as a judge back in 2012, said she wasn’t leaving the BBC1 hit due to any “upset or disagreement at all”.

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She said in a statement: “I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.

“I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.”

Strictly has yet to make any announcement about her replacement.


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.