Quickfire with Strictly veteran Anton Du Beke

The ballroom dancing star talks to us about late fatherhood, a seasonal proposal and his big hero.

Dancer Anton Du Beke is a fan of Fred Astaire but his big hero is the late, great Bruce Forsyth
Dancer Anton Du Beke is a fan of Fred Astaire but his big hero is the late, great Bruce Forsyth

Guilty pleasure? Playing golf in the middle of the week gives me a tingle, because I feel I should be working.

Where is home? A detached house, built in the 1930s, in Burnham, Buckinghamshire.

Career plan B? I could try being a golfer, but I don’t ever plan to retire from dancing.

Who would play you in a movie of your life? Fred Astaire.

Biggest bugbear? People who are selfish or unkind.

As a child you wanted to be… A footballer. As a little boy I was a big Liverpool fan.

Earliest memory? Going by car for summer holidays with grandparents in Spain and Hungary, which is where my parents are from.

Secret to a happy relationship? Make time to be with each other.

Your best qualities? My sense of humour and my ability to dance.

And your worst? I’m prone to a little grumpiness first thing in the morning.

Most romantic thing you’ve ever done? Propose to my wife, Hannah, on Christmas Day last year. We married on 20 April.

Last meal on earth? Rack of lamb.

Dream dinner party guests? Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, Noël Coward, Bruce Forsyth and my wife.

Advice to teenage self? Calm down.

Cat or dog? We’ve got two gorgeous miniature short-haired dachshunds, Antoninus and Branston.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Not the person in my head, who’s still a 25-year-old.

On a day off we’d find you… With my wife and our eight-month-old twins, a boy and a girl. Being an older father is incredible and I’m loving every second of it.

Starstruck moment? The one and only time I’ve been starstruck was meeting Brucie for the first time at the press launch of Strictly Come Dancing n 2004. He’s my hero.

Big break? Strictly – it’s wonderful to have been part of it from the start.

Career highlight? Doing ‘Me and My Shadow’ with Brucie on the show a few years ago.

Favourite tipple? A nice cup of tea or coffee – I don’t drink alcohol.

What did you have for breakfast today? Porridge with honey, banana and blueberries.

Top of your bucket list? I’m lucky that I’m already doing all the wonderful things I want to do.

One thing that would make your life better? Twice as much time.

Philosophy? Aim to get better at whatever you do.

Last film that made you cry? It wasn’t a film, but the tribute to Brucie at the start of the new series.

Where would you time travel to? The Roaring Twenties.

First record you bought? The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie.

Most extravagant purchase? A tail suit which I had made about 35 years ago. It cost an arm and a leg.

Biggest regret? I’m someone who looks forward rather than back, but being World Ballroom Dance champion would have been nice.

Biggest fear? No longer being able to do what I do.

Celebrity crush? As a lad I had a thing for Kate Jackson from Charlie’s Angels.

Happiness is… Being with Hannah and the babies and knowing that I haven’t got to leave the house in half an hour.

Anton’s debut album, From the Top, is out now on Polydor

By John Koski