'Strictly' judge Anton du Beke may return as a dancer for next season

Anton Du Beke
Anton has been a 'Strictly Come Dancing' professional since the very first season. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing favourite Anton du Beke may return to being a professional dancer, after replacing Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel for two years. 

Anton stepped into Bruno's shoes amid the pandemic, as the star was unable to fly over from America due to ongoing restrictions. He's made quite the impression on the judging panel, with fans enjoying his critiques, but there's a chance he'll return to the dancefloor next year. 

An insider told The Sun that there’s a chance Strictly producers could decide to bring Bruno back next year, provided he's able to travel to the UK safely.

The source said: "Anton is loving his stint as a judge and producers are delighted with the job he’s been doing standing in for Bruno. That said Bruno is a one-off and everybody expects to see him back."

They added: "‘Producers will then have a tough choice to make. If in a year’s time Bruno comes back and Anton is invited to return as a dancer he would do it but it would definitely feel a bit weird for him."

Bruno Tonioli has been a judge on Strictly since 2004, and hasn't missed a season until 2020 when the pandemic forced him to drop out of the judging panel. Over in the US, he appears on Dancing With the Stars alongside former Strictly judge Len Goodman and fellow choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba. 

Dancing With The Stars judges

Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. (Image credit: Getty Images)

When Anton was announced he'd be replacing Bruno again this season, the Italian choreographer said: "Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place — it’s just a shame they weren’t available... haha! Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding! 

"Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton IS Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle."

Strictly Come Dancing 2021 continues on BBC1. Previous episodes are available via BBC iPlayer

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com 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