Strictly's Anton du Beke 'happy' to be paired with a man on next series

Danny Thompson
Anton Du Beke performs on stage as part of BBC Proms In The Park at Hyde Park on September 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)

It was the cause of almost 200 hundred complaints, but Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton du Beke says pairing men together isn’t a ‘big deal’ and says he’s wouldn’t mind being paired with a male for the next series of the BBC show.

His comments come after last week’s show included Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima, both men, danced together to Shine, performed by Emeli Sande.

The groundbreaking performance was widely praised, though the BBC did report they received 189 complaints about the dance from unhappy viewers.

Read more: Emma Barton opens up about getting Anton Du Beke past Blackpool on Strictly

But du Beke doesn’t see the problem. He said: “It’s just dancing, isn’t it? Fred Astaire danced with Gene Kelly. I’d have been very happy to dance with Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire, I don’t mind.”

It was revealed recently the show were considering including same sex partners for next years series and the 53-year-old, who has previously danced with fellow pro Vincent Simone for former host Bruce Forsyth on the show, isn’t phased by the possibility.

Erin Boag, Anton Du Beke and Bruce Forsyth perform on stage at Royal Albert Hall on May 3, 2012 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)

He said: “This isn’t going to be new for me – I’ve already done it.”

He added: “I just think that this is a dance show, it’s a creative show.

“Everything that goes on the screen is a creative process – it reflects whatever you feel at that moment in time and often what is going on in society.

Read more: Strictly at Blackpool: King of Ballroom Anton du Beke gets his first 10s in 17 series of the show

Strictly is a bit of a mirror on society, actually. And it should be.

“Stuff like Johannes dancing with Graziano – it’s not such a big deal. As a dancer it isn’t even a thing. It’s quite normal because it’s dance and that’s what dance is. It’s creative.”

du Beke was speaking ahead of the release of new DVD Truly Madly Strictly, which sees him picking his favourite dances from the 16 series.