Anton Du Beke: Strictly star ‘loves’ fame as it made his mum happy after tough marriage

Oti Mabuse recalls dance mishap with Anton Du Beke

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Anton Du Beke, 54, who has previously spoken about his alcoholic father, has revealed how proud his mum, Ascension Du Beke, was after he found fame on Strictly Come Dancing. The ballroom professional added that his mother now has bleached her greying hair and has turned into a “hardly recognisable rock chick”.

I love the fact that people know i’m my mum’s son

Anton Du Beke

Anton, who has been on Strictly since its inception in 2004, revealed: “What I love more than anything else about being well known is the impact it has on my mum.

“I love the fact people know I’m my mum’s son and people know my mum.

“My mum is fabulous and lovely. I love that she’s sort of got a bit famous… and she comes along now and again to see the show and it’s great.”

Talking about life in his 20s, he said that although he lived at home for long periods “there was no interaction” with his father at that time.

Anton, who grew up in Sevenoaks, Kent, with his Spanish mum Ascension and Hungarian dad Antal said that after his parents separated it was “nice to see my mum’s life start to improve”.

He added to the BBC Sounds podcast When I Was 25: “She had very dark hair… and the greying hair was going through and she looked fantastic and distinguished.

“But when the divorce came through, she peroxided her hair blonde, and suddenly turned into some sort of rock chick I barely recognised.”

The TV star previously recalled how his Hungarian father Antal would often “fly off the handle” when he was young and it left him not “caring” when he died, back in 2001hen 

Anton described his dad as “a hard, Eastern European type. Heavy drinker, heavy smoker”.

He also added: “It was a different time and you’d have the belt taken to you and stuff like that.”

The Strictly star explained his father was only ever abusive towards him, not towards his mother or other siblings.

Anton said: “He’d just fly off the handle and he was always slightly aggressive.”

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When Anton would return home, he would often hope his “either drunk or half-drunk” father would not be there, or he would make sure he was not in the same room as him. 

The star did not have any contact with his father following his parent’s divorce, and only heard of him again when he died back in 2001.

He recalled the day he received a call from the coroner’s office, Anton said he “knew why” they had called and told them to ring back when his mother was home so he did not have to discuss it.

“I knew he was going to tell me my father had died and I didn’t care. Or want to know. 

“He was a stranger to me. That sounds a bit harsh and I don’t mean to sound like that,” Anton told The Times.

As a child, the dancer was raised in Sevenoaks, Ken mostly by Ascension, who was always supportive of his career ambitions. 

She worked three jobs, so he could afford to have dance lessons, while his father was less encouraging.

Before his professional dancing career launched, Anton started off as a salesman and now lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Hannah Summers and their two children.

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