Strictly's Anton Du Beke 'confirms' he'll return as a judge this year with comment about co-star Giovanni Pernice
ANTON Du Beke appears to have finally let slip that his WILL be returning as a judge for this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The professional dancer, 55, seemed to confirm the news during an interview about his upcoming stage show, which also stars his Strictly co-star Giovanni Pernice.
While appearing on ITV's London News, Anton was asked how he felt about Giovanni cheekily describing him as a "grandad" in a recent radio chat.
Anton replied: "That is the last time I give him a good mark. It's a four from me in the future."
Last month, Anton insisted that he still didn't know if he would be returning to the Strictly judging panel.
He stood in for judge Bruno Tolioni last year, as he was stuck in the US because of to Covid travel rules. Insiders have since claimed the 66-year-old Italian has been axed for good.
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Anton's name has been left out of the confirmed professionals who will be taking part in the show this autumn, leaving fans assuming he will be made a permanent judge instead.
But Anton insisted to Great British Life at the beginning of April: “The absolute truth is that I don’t know. I haven’t been told. They literally haven’t spoken to me about it.
“So, whatever you’ve read, it is just a rumour. I’m hoping to get a call to say, 'Look, here you go, come back judging please,' but we’ll wait and see.”
He continued: “I would like to think I’d be on the show in one way or another. I wouldn’t like to think they would just get rid of me altogether. That would be a bit dramatic to go from dancer to judge to off the show. That would be quite a career path, wouldn’t it?”
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Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood, meanwhile, has apparently been rapped by bosses for confirming on his All Balls and Glitter Tour that Anton will be returning to the panel.
Craig, 57, recently told his audience: “I really love Anton. I think he is fantastic. I think last year he did a great job on Strictly as a judge.
“And we have just found out he is going to do it again this year.”
A TV insider, however, later said: “When Anton wasn’t included on the announced line-up of Strictly pros, it was assumed he’d be back as a judge again.
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“But the BBC said nothing was nailed on yet.
“Now Craig has blabbed the news and the Beeb aren’t happy — they hadn’t even told Bruno he was being replaced.”
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