Anton Du Beke has said he will be an “empathetic and understanding” judge on Strictly Come Dancing.
The professional dancer will join the judging panel full-time for the upcoming series of the BBC One celebrity dancing competition after a two-week guest stint in the role last year.
Du Beke told the Radio Times he will be calling on his experience as a performer on the show when judging contestants in the new series.
“I know what it’s like when it goes marvellously in rehearsal on Thursday, and you can’t wait for Saturday because you’re going to slay it – and then on the show it’s as if you and your partner have never met,” he said.
“So I’ll be empathetic and understanding. I’m not going to say: ‘That was no good’.”
Du Beke, 55, is replacing Bruno Tonioli on the panel, which will also feature Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse and Shirley Ballas for the upcoming series.
Du Beke said it is not up to him whether he will continue as a judge for future series.
“All of us are always waiting for the phone call about next year,” he said.
“The important thing is just being on the show, because I love it.
“I’d be absolutely mortified if I had to leave. Bereft.
“It’s such a huge part of my life.
“I hope they never decide to get rid of me.”
Du Beke said he feels as if he has “lived two lives, before and since Strictly”.
“I was 38 when the show started. Some of the new boys now are 22,” he said.
“I’m delighted I wasn’t that young. I value it more.
“You have a better grip on what life’s about.”
The 55-year-old also discussed ageing, saying he does not feel the “passing years”.
“I stay out of the sun, don’t smoke, don’t drink, eat well, moisturise regularly,” he told the magazine.
“I had a hair transplant four years ago when I was going thin on top.
“I might have another next year, and a bit of Botox in my forehead.
“It was a massive deal to let my hair go grey last year.
“I had dyed it since I was 18. Last year after lockdown, I realised I looked like a Lego man, as if someone had just popped something on my head.
“(My wife) Hannah and the Strictly make-up crew said it would look better grey, and they were right.”
Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty, comedian Robert Webb, Loose Women panellist Judi Love and EastEnders actress Nina Wadia are among the celebrities who will star in the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The launch episode for the new series will air on Saturday at 7.45pm.
Read the full interview in Radio Times, out now.