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Strictly Come Dancing fans saw a slightly different panel giving their verdict on the nine remaining stars this evening as Anton Du Beke was on-hand to take over judging duties from Motsi Mabuse for the next two instalments. Anton soon got settled into his new role, much to the delight of many fans of the BBC show. But after proving so popular in his stint this evening, many watching took to social media to ask: “Can we keep him?”
Claudia Winkleman excitedly introduced the panel this evening as the three judges took to their seats.
Tonight, it was professional dancer Anton – who has been on the show since it commenced back in 2004 – who took Motsi’s position.
After the trio had sat down, Claudia commented: “The judges, everyone. Different!”
Tess Daly weighed in, telling those watching at home: “As you can see, we are missing Motsi tonight for the next two shows.”
Claudia continued: “So, Anton has kindly agreed to step-in after much persuasion, he reluctantly accepted the role.
“We love you, Anton, thank you!” she added and Anton was clearly thrilled by his new responsibilities as he laughed off the comment.
Anton quickly made an impact on the show, with many fans calling for him to be kept in the new position – and some even compared him to old Head Judge Len Goodman.
Taking to Twitter, one fan shared: “Keep Anton as a judge please it’s where he’s meant to be now #Strictly.”
“Who else thinks Anton should stay as a permanent judge? #StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly #KeepAnton The new Len Goodman,” shared another.”
A third asked: “Anton Du Beke is a lovely judge. Can we keep him? #Strictly #StrictlyComeDancing.”
“I have to say, Anton is much better as a judge than he is doing his silly comedy act every week. I hope this will turn into a full-time role. Love it! #Strictly,” agreed another.
A fourth echoed: “We need a petition to get @TheAntonDuBeke to be a permanent judge?! I thought he would be a younger Len Goodman and he has not disappointed.”
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Another weighed in: “Loving Anton Du Beke tonight, natural judge #Strictly,” but could the outpouring of love from fans pave the way for the professional to turn his hand to judging on a more permanent basis?
Before the performances got underway, Tess quizzed her Strictly co-star on what he would be like as a judge.
She said: “And Anton, of course, we are used to seeing you on the dance floor but what kind of judge will you be?”
He replied: “Well, I will endeavour to be much more generous than these two [Shirley and Craig] have been to me over the years, you should have a lovely night!”
True to his word, Anton dished out some enviable scores this evening, including handing out a 10 to Clara Amfo.
The Radio 1 DJ wowed judges and fans alike with her Charleston, which saw her bag 29 points – the highest score of the competition.
It was announced Anton would be taking over from Motsi yesterday after she had to fly back to Germany after an attempted break-in at her dance school.
Motsi is currently self-isolating in the UK for two weeks upon her return due to current coronavirus travel restrictions.
Strictly Come Dancing: The Results airs tomorrow night at 7:25pm on BBC One.
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