Nicole Scherzinger

British ballerina Darcey Bussell last week announced her departure from Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s most popular television programme. Bussell has been with the show since series 10 in 2012, in the process becoming one of Britain’s most-loved personalities.

On Twitter last week, Bussell said that being part of the show had been “a complete privilege”, and that she has “enjoyed every minute” of it. Denying that there has been any disagreement with the show’s producers, she insisted that she was “stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance.”

The news has sparked a frenzy among the shows many fans, desperate to know just who will fill the ballerina’s pumps on the Strictly judging panel?

Next Strictly Judge

Bookmaker Coral currently have Anton du Beke as the 5/1 favourite. Du Beke has appeared in all 15 series of Strictly Come Dancing, and enjoys the highest profile of any of the dancers, thanks to his sense of humour and notorious failure to win the competition with a succession of charismatic, if not particularly fleet-footed, partners like Esther Rantzen and Ann Widdecombe.

Also firmly in the frame is Nicole Scherzinger, a potential value bet at 8/1. The former Pussycat doll could be just what producers need to energise a format in danger of going stale. She is also well-experienced as a talent-show judge, serving on The X Factor panel on both sides of the Atlantic.

Among the other candidates Coral suggest ballroom dancer Karen Hardy at 6/1 and Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, at 7/1.