Anton du Beke strictly judge

Anton Du Beke confirmed as new Strictly Come Dancing judge

There's only one other man who can tame the likes of Ann Widdecombe…

Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke has a new role on the BBC dance show – he is set to become a judge.

Earlier today (June 24), it was announced that the veteran dancer would be retiring to the judging panel.

And, when the show comes back in the autumn, fans will doubtless be delighted to see him taking over from Bruno Tonioli.

However, the reshuffle does pose quite a conundrum for the BBC.

Just who will partner the inevitable “lady of a certain age” with Anton not competing in the show this year?

strictly come dancing Anton du Beke
Anton Du Beke is moving to the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel (Credit: BBC)

Who has new Strictly judge Anton Du Beke been partnered with previously?

In recent years, Anton seems to have been partnered with older, unfit ladies – Strictly underdogs who seem destined to go out in the first week.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Baga Chipz is latest star rumoured to be joining line-up

Anton has been partnered with Jacqui Smith, Judy Murray, Jerry Hall, Esther Rantzen, Nancy Dell’Olio, Susannah Constantine and – who could forget – Ann Widdecombe.

So who will be up to the task of dragging the women around the dance floor in Anton’s absence?

Here’s our pick of the most likely suspects!

strictly come dancing Anton du Beke
Anton with Ann Widdecombe (Credit: BBC)

Who will partner the ‘women of a certain age’ now?

This year’s line-up has been confirmed by the BBC. Although with the departure of Anton and Janette Manrara, a couple of new additions should be announced.

So far, the male dancers are Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe and Neil Jones.

Aljaž, Giovanni and Gorka tend to be partnered with younger, more capable dancers.

Graziano and Neil haven’t really had enough celebrity partners to be typecast.

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Selling Sunset’s Christine Quinn rumoured

But, after his star turn with Caroline Quentin on the 2020 series, our money is on the lovely Johannes to be the new Anton.

Patient, fun and versatile, he captured the nation’s hearts dancing with Caroline.

And could be just the man for the job when it comes to warming up one of the less talented celebrity dancers.

johannes to replace Anton?
Johannes Radebe with his 2020 partner Caroline Quentin (Credit: BBC)

Strictly news: So what did Anton say about replacing Bruno?

In a statement, Anton said: “My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.

“It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best…

““…and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.”

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor