Anton Du Beke wants Love Island stars to compete on Strictly Come Dancing now show bosses have lifted the ban on reality stars.
The ballroom legend, 53, said no one is ‘blackballed’ from taking part on the BBC1 show and ‘there’s no reason why’ a former Love Island contestant wouldn’t be considered for the line-up.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Anton referenced YouTuber Saffron Barker, 19, and Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing, 31, as examples of the dance competition changing their view on who could bag a highly coveted spot on the series.
‘I don’t see any reason why not!’ Strictly legend Anton Du Beke wants Love Island stars to compete on Strictly Come Dancing after bosses lift the ban on reality stars
Anton, who hits the road this week on his Dance Those Magical Movies tour alongside longtime dance partner Erin Boag, said: ‘I don’t think people are blackballed from doing Strictly Come Dancing.
‘They just choose the best mix of people from that year and see who’s available.
‘I think it’s changing because for example, Saffron from last year, she’s a 19-year-old blogger that I’ve never heard of but she was absolutely lovely and I thought she could have made the final, funnily enough.
‘Of course Jamie Laing was supposed to do it and then Kelvin came in, it’s a weird and wonderful thing, fate.’
When asked if he’d like to see an ex-Islander take part, Anton replied: ‘I don’t see any reason why not!
‘You have to get a cross section of people, some sports, reality, a chef, some TV, actresses when you’re putting these shows together – you need a whole gamut, else it wouldn’t be entertaining.’
‘No one is blackballed’: The ballroom legend, 53, said bosses have changed their view on who could bag a spot on the series, which will delight the likes of ex-Islander Amy Hart, 27
‘She was lovely’: The dance pro pointed to YouTuber Saffron Barker, 19, as an example of a new crop of contestants on the show and insists you need a mixture of people
Anton’s revelation will excite the likes of Love Island star Amy Hart, 27, who has admitted she would ‘love to do Strictly’ but fears ‘they’re quite fussy with who they have.’
The father-of-two said he never expects to be paired with the most rhythmically challenged contestant on Strictly, despite years of early exits from the show thanks to Ann Widdecombe, 72, Judy Murray, 60, and Ruth Langsford, 59.
Anton said: ‘In fact, it doesn’t matter who you get, if you get someone that can’t dance a step, you have the judges in the studio and you have the viewers’ vote.
‘So your job is to put the most entertaining number forward, which hopefully puts your partner out in a good light and then you hope to get either good marks or votes from the viewers.
‘The thing about Strictly is you get all these celebrities who come onto the show, there’s no rhyme or reason why somebody would be better than anyone else – some have a bit of experience.
‘Every year you get a new cast and you start again. There’s no given, there are people you think can be good and they aren’t as great as you think and then others surprise you and you think wow.
‘Stacey Dooley was a revelation and ended up winning the whole b****y thing!’
‘Every year you get a new cast and you start again’: Anton told MailOnline ‘It doesn’t matter who you get’ after being partnered with a string of hopeless dancers such as Ann Widdecombe
After 15 series on the show, and only one other occasion of being in the Strictly final, fans hoped Anton would win the Glitter Ball for the first time last year with EastEnders actress Emma Burton, 42.
But he was beaten to the title by Oti Mabuse, 29, and Kelvin Fletcher, 36, who he praised as ‘remarkable’ for performing the rumba and samba in the final – dances he said most contestants hope to avoid.
Reflecting on last year’s series, Anton admitted being partnered with Emma has been his best chance of winning to date, saying: ‘Up until that point, yes.
‘I made the final with Katie Derham but I remember it being a strong final as well.
‘Emma was terrific and we had a chance but Kelvin was remarkable in the final and to dance a rumba and a samba, I wanted to hand him the trophy just for being mad! I thought it was incredible he chose those two dances.’
Narrowly missed out: The father-of-two said being partnered with actress Emma Burton was the closest he’s come to winning the Glitter Ball trophy after fifteen series on Strictly
This Friday, Anton will embark on his annual tour with Erin where the pair perform shows up and down the country.
But fans of the Strictly star can also watch him in action on brand new show, An Audience with Anton Du Beke, which launches this spring.
He said: ‘Erin and I put on a show, this year we’re doing magical movies, it’s wonderful dances and songs, we do a bit of chat in that as well but it sort of cracks on. It’s a big fun entertaining evening, it’s uplifting and go out on a high.
‘But the show I will do on my own will be a different vibe and a bit more intimate.
‘It’s a little thing I’m going to do on my own – a one man thing. I’m looking forward to it really because – well to be honest with you I haven’t really put it together yet.
‘It’s a little thing I’m going to do on my own’: The star has launched An Audience with Anton Du Beke, a new and intimate show with singing, dancing and talking
On tour: Anton hits the road this week on his Dance Those Magical Movies tour alongside longtime dance partner Erin Boag (pictured)
‘There’s going to be a band on stage and really I’m going to get some pals in and do a bit of singing, a bit of dancing and a bit of chatting. It’s that sort of a thing.
‘I’ll be a bit nervous for it, I don’t really get nervous though saying that I’ve been getting more nervous than I used to, maybe it’s an age thing – (which is funny seems I’m only 25!)
Anton, who’s a dad to twins George and Henrietta, two, admitted he finds it ‘difficult’ being away from home when he’s on tour – and refuses to do West End shows over fears he’d spend too much time away from his children.
He said: ‘It is hard being away from my children – FaceTime is an incredible thing so you maintain that connection, though it’s difficult.
‘Even if you have a 9-5 job it can be hard because that doesn’t exist, by the time you travel it’s sort of 8-7 so for some people they can’t see their babies until the weekend. I am incredibly fortunate that I get to see them more than that.
‘One of the reasons I don’t do a residency show or a show in the West End is because I would have to be away from the babies all the time, every night in a theatre and that’s too much.’
‘It is hard being away from my children’: Anton, who’s a dad to twins George and Henrietta, refuses to do the West End over fears he’d spend too much time away from his babies