Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke reveals it was a ‘massive deal’ to let his  hair go grey

He’s known for being preened to perfection on Strictly Come Dancing. 

And Anton Du Beke has admitted he struggled to relax his grooming regime and found it a ‘massive deal’ to let his hair go grey last year.

The 55-year-old professional dancer said he has dyed his hair since he was 18 years old so he found it tough to allow himself to go natural.


 ‘I’ve dyed it since I was 18’: Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke, 55, has admitted it was a ‘massive deal’ to let his hair go grey (pictured left in June 2021 and right in 2020) 

The star had a hair transplant four years ago after he noticed it was getting thin on top however he felt he was starting to look like a ‘Lego man’. 


The now silver fox told Radio Times: ‘Last year after lockdown, I realised I looked like a Lego man, as if someone had just popped something on my head.’ 

Anton has the Strictly make-up team to thank for his handsome reinvention after they pushed him to go natural.

He said: ‘Hannah and the Strictly make-up crew said it would look better grey, and they were right.’ 

Feeling good: The star also opened about about his new role as judge on Strictly after competing as a pro dancer since the show first aired in 2004

The star also opened about about his new role as judge on Strictly after competing as a pro dancer since the show first aired in 2004.  

He said: ‘I’ve lived two lives, before and since Strictly, I was 38 when the show started. Some of the new boys now are 22. I’m delighted I wasn’t that young. I value it more.’

Out now: Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times 

He went on to say he is ‘always thinking’ it could all end tomorrow which he finds a great motivation.  

He said: ‘I’ve no control over who wants to employ me. It’s a lifetime of being judged.’

Opening up about the differences in his new role on the show Anton-who filled in for Motsi Mabuse at short notice last November- said its difficult to deliver ‘everything you want to say in 15 or 20 seconds.’ 

He said: ‘When you’re on the receiving end, it feels like the judges have a lifetime to tell you all the things you already know went wrong, but it’s different from the other side of the desk.’ 

Anton will join Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas on the panel full-time for the forthcoming series of the BBC One show.  

The shows head judge Shirley recently predicted Anton will approach his new role on the panel with ‘kindness’. 

He will take over from Bruno Tonioli, who remains unable to take part due to travel uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

‘I think he will be just fabulous’: Shirley Ballas recently gave the new Strictly judge Anton her seal of approval in time for the upcoming series (pictured in 2021)

Bruno lives and works in the US as a judge on the American version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars.

Shirley suggested Anton would understand the pressures faced by the celebrity contestants after spending 18 series as a professional dance partner on the show.

She told Hello! magazine: ‘I think he will be just fabulous and I’m sure he’ll approach everything with kindness, because he’s been on the other end of that wagging finger.

‘The public really loves him, and he’s worn his heart on his sleeve about wanting to be an adjudicator for so long, so I am really pleased for him.’

Busy: Anton is stepping in for Bruno Tonioli who lives and works in the US as a judge on the American version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars (pictured in 2021)

The Strictly 2021 pairings won’t be unveiled until next month’s launch show. However the full celebrity line-up is now complete.

Ugo Monye, Tom Fletcher, AJ Odudu, Robert Webb, Judi Love, Adam Peaty, Matilda ‘Tilly’ Ramsay, Greg Wise, Nina Wadia, Sara Davies, Rhys Stephenson, Rose Ayling-Ellis, John Whaite and Dan Walker will all be trying to win the Glitterball trophy. 

Strictly Come Dancing will air from September 18 on BBC One. 



Age: 36

Profession: McFly musician

Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’

Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!


 Age: 48

Profession: Actor and comedian

Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’

Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title. 


Age: 27

Profession: CBBC presenter  

Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’

Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville. 


 Age: 28

Profession: Actress

Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’

Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020. 


Age: 19

Profession: CBBC presenter

Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’

Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.


Age: 52

Profession: Actress

Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’

Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List. 


Age: 26

Profession: Athlete 

Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’

Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.



Age: 38

Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit

Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.

Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.



Age: 33

Profession: TV presenter

 AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’

Fun Fact: AJ has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.


Age: 33

Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef

 John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’

Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show


Age: 37  

Profession:  Businesswoman

Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’

Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den. 


Age: 44 

Profession: Journalist

Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’

Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.


Age: 55

Profession: Actor

Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’

Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.       


Age: 30

Profession: Actress

Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’

 Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant. 


Age: 41

Profession: Comedienne 

Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’

Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.


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