As Anton Du Beke quicksteps towards this year’s final with glamorous Proms presenter Katie Derham, he has finally addressed the ‘curse of Strictly‘.

Previous series have a history of contestants partnering up with their teachers, but the 49-year-old dismissed the trend as unbecoming for ‘professional people’.

(Kieron McCarron/BBC)



Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke get up close and personal during one of their routines (Kieron McCarron/BBC)

 

“If people want to do something like that, get involved with their partner, well go ahead, but don’t ask me about it.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re professional people and that’s not the way I behave,” he said firmly.

Anton has plenty of admiration for his past partners, however, gallantly hailing them ‘the most interesting and lovely ladies to dance with’.

Anton Du Beke



Anton has lots of praise for his dance partners (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

 

He said: “If I hadn’t danced with Ann Widdecombe that would have been my loss because she was a joy, such a scream and fun to be with.

“I wouldn’t have missed those wonderful moments last year, throwing Judy Murray across the floor… And, for heaven’s sake, Jerry Hall’s a living legend and also hilarious. I’ve enjoyed every second of it all.”

Strictly Come Dancing



Anton and Katie have made the final seven (Guy Levy/BBC)

 

This year, he has lit up the dance floor with Katie, possibly his first real chance in 11 years on the show of raising the glitterball trophy in triumph.

“Potentially, this is my best chance in a long time and I was thrilled to be paired with Katie because she has what it takes to go all the way in this competition, but even so, all you can do is take it week by week,” he said.

“Katie has innate talent and glamour, great natural posture and looks lovely in the frocks,” he said, but noting: “She does find it difficult and she gets nervous and anxious on show night, which is understandable.”

Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke



Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke (BBC Pictures)

 

Anton claims that he doesn’t care if he wins or loses on the show.

“It makes no difference to me whether I win it or not. Of course, being voted off is horrible, you feel so much disappointment for your partner if that happens, and obviously I always do my very best every week.

“But winning is something you only worry about when you get to the final and as I’ve never got there, I’ve never worried about it!”

Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke



Katie Derham and Anton Du Beke (Guy Levy/BBC)

 

Anton instead finds happiness in his relationship with his partner of three-and-a-half years, marketing executive Hannah Summers.

“Previously I’d never given any thought to finding ‘the one’. It wasn’t that important to me because I loved what I was doing so much – performing was the ‘woman’ in my life if you like – but then Hannah came along.

“She’s just perfect. I love her above all things. She’s very beautiful, clever, but also really kind,” he confessed.

Anton Du Beke



Anton and his professional partner of 18 years, Erin Boag (Yui Mok/PA)

 

Marriage and possibly even children could be on the cards for the couple in the next few years, he admits.

“Marry? I might do, maybe next year. Let’s see – we’re very happy.

“Children? Well it would be nice to have one child, but we’ll see how it goes…”