New Strictly judge Anton Du Beke admits he feared ‘dated’ series was ‘a car accident’

ANTON Du Beke feared Strictly Come Dancing was a “car accident” when he was first asked to star on the show.

The professional dancer, 55, was approached by the BBC with his prom partner Erin Boag in 2003 after they were spotted at the UK Championships in Blackpool.

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Bruno confessed he thought Strictly would be a ‘car accident’ when approached in 2003
Last series, he was promoted from professional dancer to judge

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Last series, he was promoted from professional dancer to judge

But he and Erin feared the show would be a “mickey take” and leave them a laughing stock.

In a new interview, Anton – who was promoted to the Strictly Jury last year – admitted they only bit the bullet after deciding they could help ‘steer’ bosses away from disaster potential.

The ballroom and Latin champ said: “We all tend to not get involved in something and then complain about it.

“I thought it was better for us to be involved, even if it was a car accident, because we thought we could help prevent it from happening.”

Erin, 46, also told Round & About magazine that she fears Strictly is a carbon copy of the ‘dated’ predecessor Come Dancing, which launched on the Beeb in 1948.

The televised ballroom contest did not feature celebrities and was hosted by the likes of Angela Rippon and the late Terry Wogan.

“It hadn’t aired for 15 years and it was very dated,” Erin said in the joint interview.

“Ballroom dancing had come a long way since then and we feared they would take the mickey away.”

Erin eventually spent eight years on Strictly, eventually leaving the BBC show in 2012.

Meanwhile, earlier this month The Sun on Sunday exclusively revealed that Strictly bosses intended to ax Bruno Tonioli and keep Anton on as judge.

Anton was given a judging role last year as travel restrictions prevented Bruno from traveling to the UK.

The Italian, who has been on the show for 16 years, was set to return after Craig Revel Horwood gave his support by casting him on the live tour.

But BBC sources have revealed bosses have now decided in Anton’s favor – which could put them on a collision course with acid-tongued Craig.

One said: “We were told that Anton’s contract as a judge is going to be renewed. The bosses were really happy with his performance.

“It has also not escaped them that his salary is considerably lower than Bruno’s.

“Bruno has been an integral part of Strictly for over a decade, and there’s a lot of affection for him from those on the show.

“This decision will ruffle some feathers, especially with Craig, who has been a very, very vocal defender of Bruno’s return. But the attitude of the bosses is, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.”

Bruno, who is on Dancing With The Stars in the US, told The Sun last Sunday that he was “sad and frustrated” not to be on Strictly.

He mocked Anton, 55, saying: “It’s good for him. He needs money.

The BBC and Anton declined to comment.

The Sun recently revealed that bosses intend to keep Anton on the panel

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The Sun recently revealed that bosses intend to keep Anton on the panel

Colleen D. Ervin