Strictly star Anton returns to Northampton

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag
Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag

Suffering from post-Strictly blues syndrome? Famous dancing couple Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag are in Northampton to help lift the gloom.

BBC Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke couldn’t be more apologetic when we eventually get to hook up, after numerous thwarted attempts due to his commitments to the primetime show.

Antonhas been involved with Strictly from day one but has yet to lift the coveted glitterball trophy...probably because the housewives’ favourite is partnered with the celebrities least likely to win.

This year looked set to be no exception when he was landed with the oldest ever female contestant, 71-year-old Lesley, but she turned out to be more agile and sprightly than most 30-somethings.

“I was disappointed to be voted off so early this year,” admits Anton. “I thought Lesley was doing marvellously but it was such a good standard this series. We were in the dance off against Daisy (Lowe) who was a wonderful dancer and she went out not long after us, surprisingly. It’s anyone’s game this year; I don’t think we’ve ever had such a strong line up.”

Even though he was voted out of the competition, Anton still performs in show dances for Strictly until it finishes and particularly loves being in the Christmas special.

Anton won’t be hanging up his Cuban heels for long though as in the New Year he and his long-term dance partner, Erin Boag, are performing their magical annual tour around the UK and Ireland.

As usual, the show – which this year is called Swing Time – opens at Northampton’s Derngate at the end of January.

If you haven’t seen Anton and Erin dance before, make sure you book a ticket now as it really is one of the highlights of the year.

“We really enjoy it,” says Anton. “There’s something about doing your own show that makes it special. We always choose to open in Northampton because the stage there is a great space, the crowd are always nice to us and we love going there.”

So what can we expect this time round?

“Again, we’ve got a big orchestra and six dancers – four of them are brand new – and Lance Ellington is back singing for us.

“We decide between us what makes it work – like the question and answer session with the audience.

“The thing about the show is we’re always talking about it through the year, so by the time January comes and we go into the studio, the music and choreography have all been arranged.”

Timeless classics featured in the show include I Could Have Danced All Night, Moondance and I Got Rhythm and Erin, Anton points out, wears a stunning new frock for every dance she performs in.

“Erin will never do two numbers in the same dress; even Lance gets two changes of frocks; it’s all part of it; the costumes are amazing,” he says.

“As long as people want to come and see us dance, we will carry on.”

As this year’s Strictly closes and head judge, Len Goodman, departs, rumours have been flying around that Anton is hotly tipped to take his crown. So have the BBC asked him yet?

“We haven’t had that conversation,” he tells me, before we go to press. “They won’t do anything about it til later this year now anyway and I’ll wait and see if they offer it to me.

“It’s a massive loss to the show with Len leaving, but I do think the series will carry on as strongly, depending who they bring in. It’s like when Brucie left, but the show’s stronger than ever now.”

Anton Du Beke and Erin Boag’s new show, Swing Time, comes to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Derngate on Thursday January 26 and Friday January 27 at 7.30pm.

For further information about the show or to book tickets in advance call 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.