Published: 00:01, 10 February 2018
Sevenoaks-born Strictly star Anton Du Beke and his partner Erin Boag will be bringing a taste of Hollywood to Kent next week.
Anton, who partnered Ruth Langsford in the most recent series of Strictly Come Dancing, returns to his professional partner Erin Boag for the tour, their 10th together – Broadway to Hollywood.
Anton and Erin went into rehearsals immediately after Christmas for their show which also features Strictly vocalist Lance Ellington, along with ensemble dancers and the 25-piece London Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe.
Erin bowed out of Strictly some years back, but that didn’t mean she didn’t watch and will Anton on in the show. She said: “I always look forward to Strictly – it is a given these days isn’t it? To me it means it is winter.
“I know Anton and Ruth had a great time. Strictly has a hold of you until the end, so we couldn’t begin rehearsals until the show had finished, but it did mean he was more refreshed for rehearsals for the tour.”
“We always come up with the music first and then we throw our ideas into the pot. Once we have picked the style of music and what the music will be, we work on everything else. We have a fabulous director and choreographer who we have worked with for years.
The show will feature classics such as Somewhere in Time, Mr Bojangles, Downtown and New York, New York, and there will be a Q and A session with the audience afterwards.
The show will be at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury on Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16. For tickets call 01227 787787 or visit marlowetheatre.com.
He’s synonymous with Strictly Come Dancing, as one of the professionals on the show since its inception in 2004.
So it’s not surprising there's been speculation about whether he will hang up his Strictly dancing shoes, especially as other original dancer, Brendan Cole, recently faced the axe. There are rumours Anton could - and return as a judge.
But he said: “Everybody knows I’m not leaving. I’m not going anywhere. I completely know I’m going to stay. Whether they want me to stay or not is a completely different matter. But I’ll turn up anyway.”
Having never won the coveted glitterball trophy, the closest he got was third place in the very first series with opera singer Lesley Garrett.
But 15 series on, he admits that he and his fellow dancers who were there for the inaugural series – including partner Erin – never thought beyond that first outing.
He said: “We were competing in China and then we got the nod that Strictly was going ahead. When we got back from China, we did another competition the following week in Sweden and that was it. We were into Strictly.
“We hoped it would be a lot of fun. For me, it was an incredible thing to be able to do, I wanted to be in it and be part of it, and of course, I wanted to work with Bruce Forsyth, who was my hero.”
Despite his experience, he admits worrying about forgetting his steps. “It’s not really nerves, it’s apprehension,” he said. “And I don’t know where that’s come from, because I never forget the routine. I never have.
“I mean, the unforgivable sin for a professional dancer would be a mistake in the routine. It is beyond sacrilege.”
Of being back on the road and stage with Erin, he said: “This will be our 10th tour so we really hope everyone will be able to join us in celebrating a decade of dance.”
OFF THE DANCEFLOOR
Anton’s also active off the dance floor, having released his debut album From The Top.
Backed with vocal harmony quintet the Overtones, he covers a wide range of songs that have inspired him from classic hits Me And My Shadow and Putting On The Ritz, to contemporary tracks City Of Stars from the film La La Land and the Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.
The project was a long time coming for him. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, an album of all my favourite songs. I really wanted people to be able to dance to them, and I think I’ve done that.”
One of the most meaningful tracks on the album is Me And My Shadow, which he performed with Sir Bruce on Strictly in 2008. He said: “It’s a poignant song, because I did it with Brucie on the show. He was a hero and a great friend.”
Sir Bruce died aged 89 in August while Anton was working on the record.
“He’d have loved the song. I think he’d have done it with me on the album, and that would have been the ultimate.”
There’s also a track that’s a heartwarming tribute to his wife Hannah, with whom he has young twins.
“It’s sort of our song. I played it for her very early when we got together and it’s also a song I had on in the background when she was having the babies.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.