With tapping toes ,and whole bucket loads of fake tan, Strictly Come Dancing proved a bigger hit than ever in 2011. Thousands of glittering crystals, and dapper top hat and tails make up the iconic ballroom dancing show.
And right at the heart of it is a man who has become one of Britain’s best loved ballroom dancers – the ever charming Anton Du Beke. Due to perform at Portsmouth Guildhall on February 22, with his new show and partner Erin Boag, he’s as chirpy as ever as he travels around the country.
Anton says: ‘It’s been going really well and it’s been fun. When you start a new show every year it feels like you’re going at about 400 miles an hour and I can’t remember my own name, let alone what’s going on next.
‘But it all comes altogether and you get it much more in your body as you go along. You get really into it, and you want it to be good.’
The tour, Let’s Do It, features music from George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Kander & Ebb and Cole Porter, with songs such as An American in Paris, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) and Don’t Rain on My Parade.
Anton adds: ‘It’s an up lifting evening with songs, dance, and chat. It’s really just a big show but it still has that intimate feeling about it.
‘I like Portsmouth, there’s always good audiences down there. and it’s a lovely venue, at the Guildhall isn’t it? It’s always had a great audience, and been a fun night there.’
Having been professional dance partners with Erin Boag for over 15 years, and having toured the UK for the past four, he believes they just work like clockwork now. Anton explains: ‘It’s been such a long time that it just fits now. It’s like a marriage, accept they don’t normally last 15 and a half years. It’s because we’re not married that it works!’
Having been in Strictly Come Dancing since it began nine years ago, he says that the series itself is getting better and better.
Anton adds: ‘It was a lot it was fun with Nancy (Dell’Olio) and she’s a great girl. We had a lot of fun. The series as a whole was spectacular, and a good show. We always say that every year though.’
‘It was good with Jason Donavan, and Harry Judd was amazing. He looked amazing and it was a great thing, having a boy band musician coming into a show like that, and being comfortable doing it.’
The next time round the series will be ten years old. But hopefully, still going strong.
He adds: ‘I never got bored of it after all these years because there’s different people around you. Next year you’ll have another partner. Me and Brendon and Erin have been there since the beginning, and for us it’s never the same.’
Tickets cost £30 to £35 from Portsmouth Guildhall on (023) 9282 4355 or go to portsmouthhguildhall.co.uk.