Anton du Beke

The 17th series of Strictly Come Dancing may still be some months away, but that hasn’t stopped fans of the UK’s leading light entertainment programme from wondering if the show can continue to evolve and delight. Chief among their concerns, of course, is who will be filling Darcey Bussell’s ballet pumps on the judging panel.

However, there is perhaps an even more pressing question. Is this the year when the ever-popular Anton du Beke finally wins the competition? Du Beke is the only one of the original cast of professional dancers who launched the show in 2004 still sashaying and shimmying his way through the rounds of latin and waltz. Though he has partnered some of the programme’s most iconic contestants, including Ann Widdecombe, he has yet to forge a winning team.

Anton’s Time to Shine?

According to bookmaker Paddy Power, du Beke is the 9/4 favourite to win in 2019. Second is Giovanni Pernice at 10/3 and then Kevin Clifton at 10/3. The field should certainly be more open this year thanks to the retirement of Pasha Kovalev, one of the most dominant dancers in Strictly’s history.

With 17 series under his belt, the law of averages would suggest that he has to win at some point. Perhaps he can take comfort from Jürgen Klopp’s victory in the Champions League this weekend. If Klopp can finally that trophy, then surely Anton can get his hands on the famous Glitter Ball?