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Anton du Beke gives his thoughts on Strictly curse at Norwich book launch

Anton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, with his book, One Enchanted Evening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Anton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, with his book, One Enchanted Evening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

As Anton du Beke waltzed into Norwich to launch his debut novel, Louisa Baldwin chatted to him about how his career has inspired the book and whether there is a Strictly curse.

Anton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, speaking at Jarrolds. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAnton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, speaking at Jarrolds. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Strictly star spoke to a sold-out crowd in Jarrold department store and talked about his glittering career and book One Enchanted Evening.

Anton was born in Sevenoaks in Kent to a Hungarian father and Spanish mother and began dancing at the age of 10 when he discovered his local dance school.

He started competitive dancing a few years later and his professional partner has been Erin Boag since 1997, who was a Strictly professional from 2004 to 2012.

His celebrity partners on the show have included Ann Widdecombe, Katie Derham and Lesley Garrett but this year he was voted off first with Susannah Constantine.

Anton, who has been on the hit BBC One show since it started in 2004, spoke ahead of the event about his thoughts on this year’s show and why his new book is a real page-turner.

What is One Enchanted Evening about and who is it aimed at?

It is an intrigue romance and there is a lot of upstairs and downstairs drama.

The book is set inside the spectacular ballroom of the exclusive Buckingham Hotel where the rich and powerful, politicians, film stars, and even royalty, rub shoulders with Raymond de Guise and his troupe of talented dancers.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Anton Du Beke is coming to Jarrold for a book signing Credit: Supplied by JarroldStrictly Come Dancing professional Anton Du Beke is coming to Jarrold for a book signing Credit: Supplied by Jarrold

It is aimed at anyone that likes Agatha Christie or detective novels and it is set in the thirties with people all dressing beautifully and is character driven.

Has your career or life experiences inspired the book?

The whole book is based on people I’ve met or spoken to and the places I’ve been and visited - it’s the story of my life.

What was the process like writing the book and will there be another one?

There will be more books and I enjoyed the process enormously.

It was a collaborative project and the idea had been milling round in my head for years and it was a joy to get into story form and it is already a bestseller.

Have you performed at Norwich Theatre Royal before and what do you think of the region?

I haven’t performed here but not through lack of want and I’ve been trying to secure a date in Norwich for ages but the dates haven’t worked.

Anton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, with his book, One Enchanted Evening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAnton du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, with his book, One Enchanted Evening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

I’ve been shopping here before and it is a lovely city - I love Norfolk and Suffolk and that neck of the woods.

Who is the best Strictly partner you have had and do you prefer getting paired with the good dancers?

I don’t mind and I like a mix, I was with Katie Durham a couple of years ago and we got to the final and I’ve just filmed the Christmas special with Ann Widdecombe and enjoyed that too.

It doesn’t matter who I get but of course I would have liked to stay all the way to the final this year.

Who is your favourite judge on the show and why?

I like them all and know them very well personally.

I know their game and they all fill a role and Shirley has been finding her feet and it takes time to develop.

Who do you think is going to win Strictly 2018?

Anton Du Beke is celebrating the release of his new book One Enchanted EveningAnton Du Beke is celebrating the release of his new book One Enchanted Evening

I think it is going to be a very closely fought contest so I don’t really know but I think Faye and Ashley are the most accomplished dancers but that doesn’t guarantee they will win.

Do you think you will ever leave Strictly?

I will stay there until the end, I love it as it’s such a feel good show and a wonderful thing for the nation to talk about.

Lovely Joe Sugg on this year’s show also brought a whole new younger audience and the kids are talking about it as well as the parents, I think it is just brilliant.

What did you make of the drama between Seann Walsh and Katya Jones and do you think there is a Strictly curse?

No I don’t think there really is one it is just one of those things people have labelled it as to give something for people to talk about.

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