Anton Du Beke addresses surprising impact of Brexit on Strictly

Anton du Beke, the newest addition to the judging panel on Strictly Come Dancing, has admitted that Brexit had a very unexpected impact on the show. The 56-year-old explained that leaving the European Union made it prohibitively expensive to get across the border.

Anton has warm memories of how he thinks Strictly has transformed the nation, with people becoming “warmer” and “sexier” since the dance show first appeared on TV screens.

However, he lamented in an interview with The Times: “Let me tell you what Brexit did – it stopped us getting the Strictly trucks from Belfast over the border to Dublin because it was too expensive!”

He refused to reveal whether he had voted to leave or remain, keeping tight-lipped on his political position.

However, Anton did say he was reluctant to get involved due to a perceived lack of knowledge.

“I think the politicians have all the information to make the right decisions. I don’t,” he shrugged.

Anton himself is the son of European migrant parents – a Hungarian father and a Spanish mother.

He was born in the UK and grew up in Sevenoaks in Kent with two younger siblings: brother Stephen and sister Veronica.

Anton says he has some traumatic memories of his late father, whom he shuddered was a “violent, abusive alcoholic”.

His dance ambitions surfaced early in life, but he alleges that his father tried to suppress them, sneering that the art form was “gay”.

“He took a dim view of my aspirations. It was all ‘Why don’t you get a proper job?’ as well as a lot of homophobic slurs,” he continued to the aforementioned publication.

Dancing in the local village hall in Sevenoaks – one of his favourite early pastimes – was the sort of innocent activity that apparently made his dad infuriated.

Anton added that he’d scarcely had a relationship with him at all due to their clashes of opinion, and that things were so frosty between them, he hadn’t cared when he died.

In an earlier interview with the same publication, he described him as the “hard, eastern European type”, and said he was regularly beaten with belts.

However, he added that the abuse was mainly targeted towards him, and that his mum and siblings were unaffected by his aggression.

Anton desperately tried to avoid being in the same room as him if he was even so much as “half drunk” for fear that he would unleash his frustrations on him.

His parents then divorced when he was in his early 20s, and contact with his father totally disintegrated.

In fact, the next time he heard anything of him was when he got the phone call in 2001 to reveal that he had died – and he felt little as he regarded him as a “stranger”.

On the other hand, he praised his “incredible” mother for working three jobs to financially support him through dance lessons.

Despite having a tumultuous childhood himself, Anton is determined to be a good father to his own miracle babies – twins George and Henrietta, who were conceived in 2017 via IVF.

He came to the parenthood game quite late, with wife Hannah being in her 40s when she gave birth, and Anton in his 50s.

However, he’s excited to make up for lost time now, having told the Times he would have had “100 kids” if he could.

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