Following on from the unprecedented success of the Warpaint edition of our seven facts about series, we turn the spotlight toward the Strictly... star, Anton Du Beke, who graces our stage this January. As the nation reels from the loss of another successful Strictly season we look to fill the void by providing you with an insight into the man behind the fancy footwork.
An illustrious career in ballroom dancing has had the welcome side effect of leaving Anton with a brimming trophy cabinet. However, Anton has also found success away from the dance floor, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the prestigious Rear of the Year Award, a worthy successor to such notable derrières as those of Ronan Keating, Ian Wright and Frank Skinner.
It might be hard to imagine a man so suited to the ballroom working anywhere else, but Anton hasn’t always been a pro. In fact, during his days on the amateur circuit he held down a range of jobs to finance his dance career, working as a baker, a painter and decorator and a furniture salesman in his youth.
Although not immediately obvious, there are echoes of Billy Elliot in the foundations of Antons career. Although he fell in love with ballroom dancing at a young age, in his youth Anton also boxed at an amateur level.
Anton isn’t a fan of the gym and advocates a more old school fitness regime. As he recounted to the Daily Mail, when he was a younger man he used to ‘just throw on a backpack full of rocks and run up a hill’.
A Strictly… stalwart, it is interesting to note that Anton is one of only three dancers to have appeared in every season, alongside Brendan Cole and his off-screen partner Erin Boag. A relative lack of success in the vast majority of these series might explain the visible elation you can see here when Anton won the Children In Need special in 2008. Tragically he was never awarded a trophy.
Anton is a fan of everyone’s favourite daytime detective drama Quincy, admitting recently that he enjoys sitting down in the afternoon and catching up with the exploits of America’s premier maverick detective.
It should be no surprise that Anton takes pride in his appearance. Yet this goes far beyond dressing up each Saturday for the viewers. He rarely leaves that house without a tie, to the extent that many fans choose to post them to him along with their fan mail. So in a twist on the tradition of throwing women’s underwear on to the stage, on Fri 24 Jan pay Anton Du Beke a visit at our Concert Hall armed with an array of your finest neckerchiefs and take aim.
Enjoy a little Anton and Brucie time designed to whet your appetite.
By Alastair Cooper