Anton Du Beke says he'd love to replace Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 - Professional Dancers

Anton Du Beke says he's up for replacing Darcey Bussell on Strictly Come Dancing.

A spot on the Strictly panel opened up this week when Darcey Bussell made the surprise announcement she was quitting.

Darcey has been a judge on Strictly for seven years, sitting alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and head judge Shirley Ballas.

Anton - who recently released his own book One Enchanted Evening - has been a pro dancer on the show since the first series - and could soon be a judge.

Although nothing is confirmed, Anton says he'd happily join the panel if the BBC asked.

"I don't know if it will be me but if they asked me I'd love to," said Anton this week. "People say they are real fans of mine but we will have to wait and see if they ask me first."

He revealed to the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I did a screen test when Len [Goodman] left and they know I want to do it this year. I am massively disappointed Darcey is leaving.

"Will the show be lacking without Darcey? Well it depends who they get... she won't like me saying but she is such a British institution."

Meanwhile, appearing on ITV's This Morning this week, currently Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood claimed a replacement for Darcey has been chosen.

"They did say it's someone who can actually dance, so that's good," Craig added, "Also it needs to be someone opinionated."

Asked if pro dancer Anton could be the mystery new judge, Craig insisted: "I don't know. I love Anton, he would be great.

"Any of the ex dancers would be fantastic but I don't know is the honest truth. They won't tell me because my gob's too big."

Even if Anton isn't a judge, he'll be back on this year's show after the Strictly 2019 professionals were confirmed earlier this year.

The male pros joining Anton are Aljaž Škorjanec, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe. Pasha Kovalev won't be returning having decided to quit after 8 years.

This year's women on the Strictly pro cast are Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova and Oti Mabuse.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in September.

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