Published: 11 January 2014
Strictly dancer Anton du Beke:
‘I’m not gay!’ Anton du Beke on the misapprehension he wishes he could erase
We ask a celebrity a set of devilishly probing questions – and only accept THE definitive answer. This week it’s Strictly dancer Anton du Beke
The prized possession you value above all others... My girlfriend Hannah. She’s a top marketing expert and we’ve been together since April 2012. I love her above all things.
The biggest regret you wish you could amend... I wish I’d become a professional dancer sooner. I did other jobs – like baking – while dancing part-time, and didn’t commit until I was 29.
The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions... I’d wake up at the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo with Hannah and have breakfast in bed: muesli, poached eggs, bacon, toast and coffee. I’d play golf at Augusta, in Georgia, with my mate Jeff, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Bruce Forsyth. For lunch, I’d go to Muxía in Spain where my mum, Ascension, is from. We’d be with my brother and sister – Stephen and Veronica – and our aunt would cook for all the family. In the afternoon I’d snorkel in the Seychelles with Hannah. Then I’d perform with my partner Erin Boag at the Albert Hall. I’d have dinner at The Ritz with Hannah and her family. I’d have the rack of lamb and a tonic water because I don’t drink, but everyone else can have the best wine. I’d end the day at home in Buckinghamshire with Hannah and Obi, our dachshund.
The temptation you wish you could resist... Spending. I go through money like a bloke with three arms.
The book that holds an everlasting resonance... Fred Astaire’s autobiography Steps In Time. He’s a hero.
The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day... I’d be a fly on the wall in the dressing room during the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this year.
The pet hate that makes your hackles rise... Arrogance.
The film you can watch time and time again... The Band Wagon with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse from 1953. Watching them dance inspired me.
The person who has influenced you most... John Del-Roy, my first serious dance coach when I was 17, who gave me confidence. He died two years ago.
The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint... Henry VIII. Can you imagine the stories that fella could tell?
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child... The advice I got from John and from my mum. He said, ‘Get better’, and Mum said, ‘Keep going’.
The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity... Baking bread. I love doing it because it’s a real skill.
The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again... My youth. I’m 47 now and have a real fear of getting old and losing my faculties.
The unending quest that drives you on... To get better at everything I do. Top of the list is dancing, then golf. I normally play to a six handicap but I’d love to play off scratch.
The poem that touches your soul... The Charge Of The Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I came across it when I was a teenager and found it so harrowing, how these men were doomed to be slaughtered.
The event that altered the course of your life and character... Getting the job on Strictly in 2004. Bruce Forsyth is my hero and the thought that I’d be in a TV show with him was incredible.
The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase... That I’m gay! Hannah laughs at that one and even Erin thought I was a flopsy when we met. It might be because I mince about, but a little mince never does any harm!
The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it... I’d steal a dance with the Queen.
The song that means most to you... Me And My Shadow. Bruce and I danced to it on Strictly a few years ago, which was amazing.
The happiest moment you will cherish forever... Meeting Hannah in 2012. She is so beautiful, bright and funny. Maybe marriage is on the cards, but I should speak to her about that first!
The saddest time that shook your world... Not having a relationship with my father, Antal. He was an alcoholic and there was an argument on Boxing Day when I was 22. He left the house and I never saw or spoke to him again.
The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you... I wish Erin and I had won the World Ballroom Dance Championship. We came third once.
The philosophy that underpins your life... Be polite and do the right thing.
The order of service at your funeral... I’m a Catholic, so it would be in a church and everyone would come in to If My Friends Could See Me Now by Sammy Davis Jr. I’d like a tomb with a dressing room door and a sign saying, ‘Do Not Disturb’!
The way you want to be remembered... As a lovely fella and a great dancer.
The Plug...Anton is currently on tour in Ballroom To Broadway. Visit www.antonanderin.com.
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