Strictly: Anton tells Dan Walker to ignore Craig's feedback
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Strictly Come Dancing stalwart and judge Anton Du Beke, 55, has rubbished claims that the show is “fixed” by the BBC. It comes after Strictly viewers were left in uproar over Olympian Adam Peaty, 26, and Katya Jones, 32, being eliminated from the 2021 series, while BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, 44, and Nadiya Bychkova, 32, were saved by the public vote, despite receiving lower scores from the judges and failing to impress with their routine.
Twitter user Ian Mac fumed at the time: “Strictly has got to be a fix. Iv’e said it many times before. Every year the BBC poster boy/girl always gets through at the expense of better dancers. Dan Walker is worse than Jeremy Vine & he is still being kept in. About time they showed the voting on screen. Boo hiss!”(sic)
Shirleigh added: “If it’s not Dan’s last dance next week, I’m calling fix. There’s no way he is at the same standard (or better) than Rose, John, AJ, Tom and Tilly. It still annoys me Shirley Ballas scored him higher than Rose yesterday! #Strictly.”
However, during an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk about his new book, We’ll Meet Again, Anton insisted that it would be “a pointless exercise to fix” the dance competition, as contestants merely gain a trophy after being crowned the winners.
He also explained the BBC are only interested in “making a great television show”, rather than preoccupying themselves with “who wins or who doesn’t win”.
Speaking out on the claims, Anton said: “I’ve heard this, but I’ve heard for 18 years that it’s fixed, the decisions are made, and it’s really not.
“Because the BBC, I mean, that would mean that the BBC are compliant with fixing the result.
“And they’re not for two reasons; one, because they don’t mind who wins, it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t cost them anything, what they’re focused on is having a great show.
“And who wins or loses is only great in some people’s eyes, and not everybody’s gonna agree.
“So, you know, the audience have the decision.”
Anton went on to point out that the viewers are solely responsible for who wins in the final, as the judges’ scores are only for guidance during that episode.
He continued: “At the end of the day, the audience have the decision of who wins anyway, so the BBC and the judges have no say in that, the audience do.
“In regards to everything else, the BBC don’t care about who wins or who doesn’t win because they’re interested in making a great television show.
“The judges don’t mind who wins and who doesn’t, because I can’t say to you, ‘my favourite was Dan Walker,’ because you’ll say to me, ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about, he’s obviously not danced better than AJ [Odudu] last weekend’, let’s say.
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“So all I do is I lose my own credibility, so I have to mark what I see, and based on that, you get this element of, it is what it is.”
Anton added: “Nobody goes off after Strictly Come Dancing and gets a big recording contract – you get a trophy, you go, ‘thank you very much,’ then you go back to your day job.
“So it’s all a bit of a pointless exercise to fix it.”
Despite the fix allegations, Anton has been enjoying his first year as a judge on Strictly after graduating to the panel from the show’s team of professional dancers.
The King of Ballroom has also found that his new role has given him more free time to pursue other projects, including an upcoming pantomime debut as Buttons in Cinderella this festive season.
He revealed: “Now I’m judging, it’s afforded me the time, so I’m loving the thought of doing the pantomime.
“I can’t wait, and it’s something my children can come to and enjoy, they’ll probably come to every performance and we’ll use it as childcare!” Anton quipped.
The coronavirus lockdown also gave the dance expert time to write the latest novel in his hit series of books, We’ll Meet Again, a romantic story based in the luxurious Buckingham hotel in 1939.
He said of the project: “I like the idea of a continuing story that’s also stand alone, so you could just take this one and if you haven’t read any of the others, you wouldn’t feel like you’ve missed anything.
“But also, if you’re a fan of the series, you can continue along the line and follow the stories, really.”
Anton Du Beke stars in Cinderella at Richmond Theatre. Tickets from £13 atgtickets.com/Richmond
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