Anton Du Beke Is Said To Be Gutted At Strictly Judge Snub
17 May 2017, 12:06
The professional dancer on the show was tipped to replace Len Goodman as a judge before it was revealed that Shirley Ballas had landed the role instead.
Anton Du Beke is said to be "gutted" he was turned down as the new Strictly Come Dancing judge.
The 50-year-old professional dancer was firm favourite to replace Len Goodman as the head judge when he turned his back on the ballroom and latin show at the end of last year.
But reports say he is disappointed that bosses chose Shirley Ballas to claim the seat on the tough panel.
A source told The Sun: "Anton would never say anything publicly about being overlooked but he and everyone around him have been left gutted by the decision.
"They [bosses] feel the panel needs a British bloke on it as a straight swap for Len. It's a risk changing such a successful formula. It's also been said that he is being looked down on as 'just a dancer' when really there's much more to him than that."
However, it's understood that BBC bosses have always had a female replacement for the four-judge panel ever since Len announced his retirement last summer.
Shirley beat Anton, Brendon Cole, plus ex-professional dancer Karen Hardy and Ireland's Dancing With The Stars judges Loraine Barry and Brian Redmond to the position after impressing producers during a screen test last month.
It could be an awkward run-in for Anton and Shirley when the new series starts but dancer Katya Jones - who partnered with Ed Balls last year - is excited about the new line up.
She said: "Shirley has a strong personality and her being on the panel equals out the ladies and gentlemen. It will be interesting."
Shirley – who is nicknamed the 'Queen of Latin' – will certainly give the other judges Bruno Tonioli, Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood a run for their money as she's one of the most decorated professional dancers in the world.
She is three-time British Open to the World Latin American Champion, 10-time United States Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion.