Anton Du Beke struggled to give “short and succinct” critiques when he sat on the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judging panel for the first time on Saturday (14.11.20).

Anton Du Beke

Anton Du Beke

The 54-year-old professional dancer - who has been on the show since 2004 - swapped his ballroom shoes for a comfy judge's chair as he filled in for Motsi Mabuse on the BBC dance competition over the weekend, because she had to self-isolate following an “urgent” trip to Germany.

And while Anton “loved every second” of his time on the panel - where he will return this Saturday (21.11.20), as Motsi continues to quarantine - he found it a “nightmare” when bosses kept asking him to make his feedback shorter, because he was taking up too much time.

He explained: “I absolutely loved every second of it. I felt comfortable, it’s not like I haven’t got any experience in talking about dancing, and it was lovely to be able to just sit there and enjoy the dancing and then comment on all the things I loved about it, which was really always going to be my steer to be honest.

“The worst part is you don’t have very long to get your point across, and anyone who has met me knows that short and succinct isn’t really my game.

"Why let a short answer get in the way of a rambling long monologue? For me, that’s a nightmare. ‘Shorter, shorter’ they kept telling me! I was going, ‘Honestly, I’ve barely said hello.' ”

To prepare him for his judging debut, Anton got in touch with former ‘Strictly’ head judge Len Goodman, who told him to just be himself.

When asked about getting advice from Len, he said: “I’ve known Len for 40 years, as long as I’ve been dancing, and he gave me the same advice that he gave himself. ‘Be yourself, and say what you see’.

"I did exactly that. I thought, 'I’ve got a bit of experience here, I should know what I’m looking at,' and I just remarked on what I saw and what I enjoyed most about the performances.”

The pro dancer said his least favourite part was sending one couple home after the dreaded dance-off, which this week saw The Wanted singer Max George eliminated from the competition.

Speaking during an appearance on ‘This Morning’, he said: “The worst part was the elimination moment. The results show. I didn’t enjoy that at all."I’d have been happy for them all to stay. But as I say, I loved it, and everything the celebrities did well is reflected on the professionals anyway, because they’re all so brilliant and incredible teachers and partners.”


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