Shirley Ballas leads the Strictly stars sending their support to Anton Du Beke ahead of judging


Shirley Ballas and Nadiya Bychkova have led the stars sending their support to Anton Du Beke ahead of his first judging debut on Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing. 

The professional dancer, 54, is standing in for Motsi Mabuse as she isolates for 14 days, after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being ‘targeted’.

Taking to social media, Anton was showered in support and praise by his Strictly co-stars both past and present.

Lovely: Shirley Ballas and Nadiya Bychkova, pictured, have led the stars sending their support to Anton Du Beke ahead of his first judging debut on Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing 

Shirley led the stars as she shared a video of herself getting ready backstage with Anton complete with eye patches, she gushed: ‘I’m very excited to see Anton, I will miss Motsi, but I am very excited to see Mr Anton Du Beke.’

The Queen of Latin then turned the camera onto Anton as she asked how he was feeling, to which he exclaimed: ‘I am so excited!’

Shirley added: ‘We’re missing Motsi but loving Anton Du Beke!’

Nadiya, 31, also shared a sweet post to Anton as she took to her Instagram Stories to post a throwback snap of the two.

Filling in: The professional dancer, 54, is standing in for Motsi Mabuse as she isolates for 14 days after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being 'targeted'

Filling in: The professional dancer, 54, is standing in for Motsi Mabuse as she isolates for 14 days after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being ‘targeted’

She's a fan! Taking to social media, Anton was showered in support and praise by his Strictly co-stars both past and present (Shirley pictured)

She’s a fan! Taking to social media, Anton was showered in support and praise by his Strictly co-stars both past and present (Shirley pictured) 

Excited: Shirley led the stars as she shared a video of herself getting ready backstage with Anton complete with eye patches, she gushed: 'I'm very excited to see Anton, I will miss Motsi, but I am very excited to see Mr Anton Du Beke' to which he exclaimed: 'I am so excited!'

Excited: Shirley led the stars as she shared a video of herself getting ready backstage with Anton complete with eye patches, she gushed: ‘I’m very excited to see Anton, I will miss Motsi, but I am very excited to see Mr Anton Du Beke’ to which he exclaimed: ‘I am so excited!’ 

She penned: ‘So excited!’ and added: ‘Are you as excited as I am for Anton to be a judge tonight?’ followed by a poll for her fans to vote on.

Fellow professional dancer Graziano Di Prima also shared a sweet message to Anton on his own Instagram.

Alongside a snap of the two, he penned: ‘Proud of you!! GOOD LUCK King of the ballroom #newjudge.’ (sic)

And it wasn’t just the current Strictly stars sending their support with former pros James Jordan and Ian Waite also praising Anton.

Sweet: Fellow professional dancer Graziano Di Prima also shared a sweet message to Anton on his own Instagram

Sweet: Fellow professional dancer Graziano Di Prima also shared a sweet message to Anton on his own Instagram

James, who left in 2014, wrote on Twitter: ‘NO-ONE deserves it more than Anton. He will be an amazing edition to the panel, I just hope they can find a way to make him a permanent judge.’

In his typical tongue-in-cheek humour, he added: ‘I was however waiting by the phone but no call think I’m too honest.’

While Ian, 49, who left the pro line-up in 2010, tweeted: ‘Over the moon to hear that my twin @TheAntonDuBeke will be judging @bbcstrictly this weekend. 

‘So great that a #strictly pro dancer has been given this roll all be it temporary. Go Go Go Anton!’ (sic) 

History: And it wasn't just the current Strictly stars sending their support with former pro James Jordan, pictured with Pamela Stephenson in 2011, praising Anton

Sweet: Ian Waite, pictured in 2004, also supported Anton

History: And it wasn’t just the current Strictly stars sending their support with former pros James Jordan, pictured left with Pamela Stephenson in 2011, and Ian Waite, pictured right in 2004, also praising Anton

James, who left in 2014, wrote on Twitter: 'NO-ONE deserves it more than Anton. He will be an amazing edition to the panel, I just hope they can find a way to make him a permanent judge.'

James, who left in 2014, wrote on Twitter: ‘NO-ONE deserves it more than Anton. He will be an amazing edition to the panel, I just hope they can find a way to make him a permanent judge.’ 

Support: While Ian, 49, who left the pro line-up in 2010, tweeted: 'Over the moon to hear that my twin @TheAntonDuBeke will be judging @bbcstrictly this weekend

Support: While Ian, 49, who left the pro line-up in 2010, tweeted: ‘Over the moon to hear that my twin @TheAntonDuBeke will be judging @bbcstrictly this weekend 

Anton’s former celebrity partner Ruth Langsford agreed he’d be the perfect choice to stand in for Motsi.

She said on Friday’s This Morning: ‘He is the perfect solution in my opinion, fantastic judge and teacher, my vote is with Anton!’ 

It was confirmed by bosses on Friday that Anton would be standing in for Motsi on the judging panel.

In a statement the show wished the dancer ‘good luck’ as he prepares to make his debut as a judge on the show this Saturday, after Motsi announced on Thursday she would be isolating for two weeks following an ‘urgent trip’ to Germany.

Dancing duo: Anton's former celebrity partner Ruth Langsford agreed he'd be the perfect choice to stand in for Motsi

Dancing duo: Anton’s former celebrity partner Ruth Langsford agreed he’d be the perfect choice to stand in for Motsi 

The statement, posted to Instagram on Friday, said: ‘We are pleased to announced that the King of Ballroom Anton Du Beke is stepping into our judging panel this weekend. Good luck Anton!’

Minutes later Anton re-posted the announcement to his own social media, no doubt excited about the new job after 16 years on the show.

For years fans have lobbied for Anton to land a job on the Strictly judging panel, given he is the show’s longest serving professional dancer and has been a part of Strictly since it began 2004.  

This year he was the first pro to be eliminated alongside former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.  

Thrilled: It was confirmed by bosses on Friday that Anton would be standing in for Motsi on the judging panel

Thrilled: It was confirmed by bosses on Friday that Anton would be standing in for Motsi on the judging panel

It comes after Strictly judge Motsi revealed she rushed home to Germany after her dance school was ‘targeted’.

The show judge, 39, was pictured wearing a protective mask as she made her way across a Heathrow airport terminal at 1:30pm on Tuesday November 10 clutching a piece of paper, believed to contain her negative COVID test result. 

Explaining what happened on Instagram on Friday, Motsi revealed that she is now working with police to ‘solve the crime’ and will be improving security at her school.

As well as posting a lengthy caption in German, Motsi shared a snap of a broken glass door at her studio.

Chaos: Motsi revealed that she will have to self-isolate for 14 days after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being 'targeted' (pictured with husband Evgenij Voznyuk at an event in Frankfurt in 2017)

Chaos: Motsi revealed that she will have to self-isolate for 14 days after rushing home to Germany due to her dance school being ‘targeted’ (pictured with husband Evgenij Voznyuk at an event in Frankfurt in 2017)

She penned: ‘Unfortunately we have no good news. Someone tried to break into our school @motsimabuse_taunustanzschule. 

‘We are working with the police to solve this crime. We know we have been targeted on purpose and we will improve security in our school that this will not happen again.’

A Strictly source confirmed to MailOnline on Thursday that Motsi is now back in the UK following her brief trip to Germany, where she runs the dance school and shares a home with husband Evgenij Voznyuk and their daughter, two.  

Damage: The judge shared a snap of a broken glass door to her Instagram on Friday, explaining that she is working with the police

Damage: The judge shared a snap of a broken glass door to her Instagram on Friday, explaining that she is working with the police

Bad news: Motsi explained that somebody had tried to break into their school and added that she will be improving security at the building

Bad news: Motsi explained that somebody had tried to break into their school and added that she will be improving security at the building

'Urgent reason': Motsi previously said that the reason for her travel was 'urgent' when she announced she has to self isolate for the next 14 days

‘Urgent reason’: Motsi previously said that the reason for her travel was ‘urgent’ when she announced she has to self isolate for the next 14 days

Current UK lockdown rules prohibit international travel except in ‘limited circumstances such as for work or for education’. 

Guidelines say ‘people who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence and the UK at least once a week’ do not have to isolate.   

In accordance with those guidelines Motsi will self isolate for a fortnight, with pro dancer Anton now set to fill in for her on Strictly while she’s at home.

News of Motsi’s isolation comes just hours after Nicola Adams and Katya Jones had to withdraw from the competition because the professional dancer contracted COVID-19. 

It's over! News of Motsi's isolation comes just hours after Nicola Adams and Katya Jones had to withdraw from the competition because the professional dancer contracted COVID-19  (pictured last month)

It’s over! News of Motsi’s isolation comes just hours after Nicola Adams and Katya Jones had to withdraw from the competition because the professional dancer contracted COVID-19  (pictured last month)

How is Strictly 2020 going ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Strictly Come Dancing has introduced an array of strict measures to ensure the new series can go ahead during the COVID-19 crisis.

Celebrity contestants and their professional partners are tested regularly, with cast and crew told to isolate should they contract the virus.

Bosses have already confirmed any celebrity that tests positive once the series begins will be dropped from the show, with reports saying there are celebrities on stand-by.

The professional dancers have already pre-recorded their group performances after isolating together in a hotel.

It’s also been claimed that celebrities and pros will be axed from the show if they are caught kissing during filming.

Strictly 2020 has also seen the series run shortened to just nine weeks, with 12 celebrities taking part instead of the usual 15.

The show’s annual trip to Blackpool has been cancelled, along with this year’s Halloween and Christmas specials.

Only three judges – Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Motsi Mabuse – will be in the studio with separate rostrums, after Bruno Tonioli was unable to appear due to travel concerns. 

Veteran judge Bruno has said he will be ‘involved remotely’ and hopes to return full-time towards the end of the series as he is filming the US version of the show in Los Angeles. 

With limited studio crew, big sets may not be built – so producers will use augmented reality, which adds computer-generated elements.

To ensure the contestants can work closely with their partners, they will ‘bubble up’ to train, along with being tested regularly. 

Strictly will still feature a live audience, however fans will sit in groups on separate tables, and will only attend if from the same household or bubble.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk