We cheered with joy when Strictly veteran Anton Du Beke sambaed on to the judging panel for the current series of Strictly Come Dancing.
It was a well-deserved promotion for the man who has been lighting up the dance floor as a Strictly professional dancer since the show began in 2004.
But what will happen to him when/if Bruno Tonioli returns?
Strictly Come Dancing bosses impressed!
Anton, 55, impressed show bosses after acting as a temporary judge for two episodes during last year’s series.
He was made a permanent fixture in 2021 after it was confirmed flamboyant judge Bruno Tonioli couldn’t return to the judging panel due to the international travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
Bruno’s schedule as a judge on the current Dancing With The Stars series in the USA made it impossible for him to commit to both shows and travel back and forth between the UK and US every week.
And dancer Anton delighted in landing his dream job on the BBC show, plus a colossal wage boost.
The father-of-two is reportedly earning between £175,000 and £200,000 for his judging position, a huge hike from his reported dancer’s salary of £65,000. Not bad!
Speaking about his new role, Anton said: “My loves, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues.
“It’s a dream come true to be on the judging panel alongside the best of the best.”
But, if Bruno returns in 2022, will Anton return to the dance floor?
According to The Sun, bosses haven’t decided about Anton’s role for next year and Bruno’s long term future on the show. Both have been with the show since it first aired in 2004.
Strictly sources reportedly claim that it would be “tricky” for Anton to return to the dance floor as he would find it “weird” leaving the judging panel, but he is willing to do whatever is asked of him.
One insider said: “Anton is loving his stint as a judge, and producers are delighted with the job he is doing standing in for Bruno. That said, Bruno is a one-off, and everybody expects to see him back. Producers will then have a tough choice to make.”
“Once you’ve been a judge and decided who stays and goes, it is very tricky to make that step back into the competition and take part against all the other dancers. Anton’s a professional, so would make the best of, the situation but it wouldn’t be an easy transition.”
There has also been no confirmation if Anton will be appearing as a judge on the Strictly Live! Tour which is taking place early next year.
Anton will be performing in Panto this year
But reportedly, while Anton loves been a judge, he does miss the buzz of performing and has signed up to make his pantomime debut this Christmas.
The Strictly legend will be treading the boards as Button in Cinderella at the Richmond Theatre in London.
He will also be performing on the Anton and Giovanni UK tour in June next year with fellow Strictly pro Giovanni Pernice
While we love Anton as a judge, we enjoy watching him dance, so we’d be happy if it returned to the dance floor. Just don’t leave, Anton. Strictly wouldn’t be the same.
Strictly airs Saturdays, BBC One, 7 pm and Sundays 7.10pm.
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