Strictly’s Anton Du Beke admits even he didn't recognise some of celebs in new line-up

The 52-year-old professional dancer – who left the show over the weekend with his partner Susannah Constantine – wasn't the only one left scratching his head as fans of the hit BBC show said they were still waiting to see the stars after the line up was announced.

Anton, who’s worked on the show since it began in 2004, said despite not knowing some of the celebs himself he believed the line-up would never be good enough for the show’s critics.

He explained: “Take, for example, Seann the comedian. I don’t know if he’s particularly well known, I didn’t know him particularly before Strictly Come Dancing but he’s the loveliest fella. He is going to be really lovely to get to know.

“Stacey is another one. I didn’t know Stacey but she’s hilarious. Susannah has been an absolute hoot and Danny [Death in Paradise actor Danny John-Jules] is an absolutely lovely fella.”

“I’ve been doing the show for 16 series and quite frankly, as far as the critics are concerned, we’ve never had a good crop. And then five minutes later they’re saying it’s the best Strictly ever.

"I know what it’s going to be like. It’s going to be really exciting and people are going to love it.

“I watched the first episode of Bake Off with my wife and that’s a show that doesn’t have celebrities at all, but after about 10 minutes we were both completely invested in the show.

“Strictly is going to be like Bake Off. We’re going to watch it and within five minutes we’re going to be really invested.”

Anton spoke to The Sun Online ahead of the publication of his debut novel One Enchanted Evening.

Set in an exclusive London hotel in the 1930s, it’s a gripping tale of scandal and secrets as the rich and powerful rub shoulders with Raymond de Guise and his troupe of talented dancers from around the world.

The novel took a year to complete, but the dancer admitted he needed a helping hand to write it.

“If the publishers had locked me in a shed at the end of the garden and said: ‘give me 30,000 words’ it would have taken me until I was about 300 years old to finish the book,” he laughed.

“In anything I work best in a collaborative scenario. It comes from being a dancer I suppose. So working with the guys at the publishers was the best thing.

“I’d have somebody at a computer and I’d be going: ‘right, I’d like this to go here,’ and they’d be jotting it down.

"Then I’d go: ‘suddenly a spy enters…’ and my Editor would put her head up and say: ‘no spies, save that for the second novel.’

“It’s been such a lovely experience. It’s something I’ve wanted to do forever, but never thought I’d be able to.”

Anton, who lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Hannah and their 18 month-old twins George and Henrietta, is Strictly’s longest-serving professional.

After being voted out last during last night’s show, Anton said he’d chosen to have fun with Susannah rather than try to wow the judging panel.

He explained:  “If I get someone who’s perceived as a good dancer, then I do proper serious dancing – lovely jubbly.

“If I get somebody who can’t dance a step then I’m not going to do the generic Foxtrot and Cha Cha Cha, because it won’t be very interesting for anybody and she probably won’t enjoy doing it very much.

"So we have a bit of fun with it and I chuck her across here and fly her in there. Sometimes there’s a bit more scope.

“Because you know you’re going to get a two from Craig, what difference does it make if you get a two or one?

"I can’t tell you how much I love it. It makes me laugh inside when I’m doing it and I just see what I can get away with really. That’s how I view it.”

Anton and Susannah’s 12 points was the joint third lowest score in Strictly history and the lowest score for eight years.

The dubious honour of the lowest score ever goes to TV presenter Quentin Wilson, who was awarded eight points for his Cha Cha Cha with dancer Hazel Newberry in series two.

Fiona Phillips and Brendan Cole received only 11 points for their Waltz in series three.

Three dancers have scraped only 12 points – TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin and dancer Nicole Cutler for their Cha Cha Cha in series two, Anton and Susannah last week and Anton and Ann Widdecombe for their Salsa in series eight.

One Enchanted Evening by Anton Du Beke is published on October 4 (HB & eBook, £18.99, Zaffre).

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