Anton Du Beke explains why he changed name
Anton Du Beke, who was formerly a professional on Strictly Come Dancing before being made a judge in 2021, once went by a different name.
Admitting he had “never spoken to anyone” about his name change before, the BBC star opened up about his decision to do so for the first time on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories tonight.
During his appearance on the ITV show, the ballroom dancer also spoke about his heartbreaking childhood and difficult relationship with his abusive father.
Early on in the interview, Kate revealed to Anton that her team had recovered a piece of footage of him dancing in his early ballroom days.
Speaking about the clip, Kate marvelled: “You look so young with your bones barely formed, the poise is the same, the posture’s fabulous and… Anthony Beke?!”
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Sure enough, the caption underneath Anton and his dance partner read: “Anthony Beke and Diane Smith – Birmingham.”
“What is the deal with that?” Kate asked as Anton quipped back: “The thing you should be most alarmed about is that I was dancing for Birmingham.”
However, Kate pressed on: “What is this? Because even back in the day people were talking about Anthony Beke.
“People also used to say Tony Beak… But we all know Anton Du Beke. What is the story with the name?
After a long pause, Anton replied: “I’ve never spoken about this before in my entire life, actually, so why not do it now?”
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“I wanted a new start and a new beginning and I wanted to leave what went before behind. And then move on with the rest of my (life),” he explained.
“I just wanted to be me, and I started with Anton Du Beke – I went from there really.”
“And is that because times before were tough?” Kate asked, before suggesting they delve further into Anton’s past.
As the interview continued, it became clear why Anton might want to leave his past behind due to the heartbreak and pain he experienced in his childhood.
He spoke about having “an alcoholic father and a situation where, if you’re in the house then there’s drinking and… fights.”
Anton also described how his father Antal would call him “gay” for wanting to pursue dance and how he would often turn violent.
“You’d move room to get away from all of it and he’d follow you in – and then next thing you know, the violence starts,” he said in the emotional interview.
The most shocking revelation came when Anton revealed that, while drunk, his father stabbed him in the stomach and leg.
He also claimed that he spent three days in hospital following the attack and admitted he’d never mentioned the stabbing before.
“I’ve never spoken about this before in my entire life,” he stated. “I’m sure my friends and family don’t even know.”
Kate Garraway’s Life Stories airs tonight at 9pm on ITV1 and is available to stream on ITVX.
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