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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Rich Pelley

Anton Du Beke: ‘I’d clear the floor if I danced at a disco’

‘I always try to do the best I can for my audience, I want it to be amazing’: Anton Du Beke.
‘I always try to do the best I can for my audience, I want it to be amazing’: Anton Du Beke. Photograph: Mark Hayman/Fabulous Magazine

Growing up was always about being outdoors, playing football and cricket, riding our bikes. The dancing didn’t start until I was about 13. I didn’t play rugby, but I loved schoolboy boxing. I’d pirouette in and whack them with the other hand, unawares.

I’d clear the floor if I danced at a disco. I’m not good at dancing by myself and I’m not very good at free-styling. I’d end up doing choreography instead.

It’s important to be genuine, to put on the best performance you can. I always try to do the best I can for my audience. I never want anything to be half-baked or half-cocked, I want it to be amazing.

Everything’s a picture to me. Whether I’m choreographing or writing a novel, I see it in my mind’s eye and put it to music or on the page.

I’ve written four novels and released an album. I have great stories milling around my head and I’ve got a wonderful chap who types them out for me.

Nothing gets easier as you get older. It gets harder to start again, motivationally and physically. The big thing for me is never having stopped. Can I do the splits? I’ve never been able to, so that’s nothing to do with age.

Email? Texting? Forget it. I never reply to anyone. So anybody who reads this who I haven’t got back to, I’m really sorry. Maybe just ring me. Although I won’t answer, because I’m always in the car driving or doing a show, or in a studio rehearsing.

I absolutely love getting recognised. I don’t mean it in a vain way. I’m eternally grateful to people who say they’re fans of the show, or they like one of my books. Every time I get recognised, I say, “Thank you very much.” They say, “Can I have a photo?” And I say: “By all means!”

One woman asked me to sign something, so I signed: “Lots of love, Anton Du Beke.” She said: “Who’s this? Write your name!” I knew exactly what she meant, so I wrote: “Lots of love, Rob Brydon,” and off she went, happy as Larry.

If I’m not performing or doing a show, I like to be on a golf course. I’ve even started playing golf with my wife. She’s really competitive, so she gets grumpy, but I love playing with her. Last year I learned my whole panto script on the golf course. I’d walk up to people and say, “Hiya, kids! My name’s Buttons.” They’d say, “Clear off. Hit your shot.”

What’s my worst habit? You’d better ask my wife.

Do I appreciate my good looks? Let me put it like this. Heat magazine used to do this Secret Crush poll, and one year I was runner-up to James May. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. I was just delighted to be considered.

What happens when we die? I’ll go and play golf with Brucie in the better place.

Anton endorses the Slingsby Golf Academy, encouraging more women into golf. See

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