An­ton vows Strictly re­turn af­ter bow­ing out with Ruth

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY LAURA HARD­ING

Dis­ap­pointed: An­ton and Ruth STRICTLY Come Danc­ing star An­ton Du Beke in­sisted this se­ries would not be last af­ter he en­joyed one last dance with his celebrity part­ner Ruth Langs­ford.

Langs­ford — who is mar­ried to Belfast-born broad­caster Ea­monn Holmes — and Du Beke were voted off the show at the week­end af­ter los­ing out in the dance-off to Par­a­lympian Jon­nie Pea­cock and part­ner Oti Mabuse.

But the pro­fes­sional dis­missed re­ports this se­ries would be his last, telling ITV’s Loose Women yes­ter­day: “No, never, never, never, never, never.

“Even if they don’t ask me back, I’m still turn­ing up.”

Du Beke added he was sad he and Ruth had been booted off the BBC One show.

“I was very, very dis­ap­pointed be­cause I thought we had more weeks in us, but it’s so fi­nal,” he ex­plained.

“When they go, ‘Thank you very much, we don’t want you any­more’, that’s it — you can’t just creep back into the stu­dio be­cause it’s the end.

“They pull the rug out from un­der your feet.”

Ruth and An­ton also re­flected on their dra­matic fall at the end of a Paso Doble ear­lier this month, when they lost their foot­ing and Du Beke fell back­wards — and Langs­ford clam­bered on top of him.

The cou­ple’s week eight exit came just days be­fore the show moves to the glit­ter­ing Tower Ball­room in Black­pool this week­end.

Langs­ford told Loose Women: “I was try­ing to cover his em­bar­rass­ment that he was the pro­fes­sional dancer that had fallen and not me.

“I thought, ‘I will just get on top and just cover him so that he won’t be em­bar­rassed’.”

Du Beke added: “It was a beau­ti­ful mo­ment and I loved it. And as I’m ly­ing on the floor, sud­denly the room went a bit dark. I thought, ‘Oh, you’re go­ing to hate watch­ing this back’.

“There is a lovely pho­to­graph from the end of the room of us on the floor.

“My arms are out like this and all you see are my feet.”

The pair also danced to­gether for the last time, with Du Beke tak­ing Langs­ford for a spin around the tele­vi­sion stu­dio while the Loose Women team held up pan­els to give them scores of 10.

Af­ter his wife’s week­end exit from Strictly, Holmes took to so­cial me­dia to share the bit­ter­sweet news with his al­most one mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter.

“Well it’s Strictly over and my dar­ling Ruthie has no com­plaints,” the tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter posted.

“Thanks to the sup­port of you amaz­ing folk, she had an amaz­ing run with an amaz­ing part­ner.

“I am feel­ing a lot of love for her out there, but I am also look­ing for­ward to hav­ing my wife and our life back.”

Langs­ford has praised her husband for supporting her dur­ing her stint on the pro­gramme and said that he and her son, Jack (15), were look­ing for­ward to some de­cent din­ners af­ter “liv­ing on mi­crowave meals”.

Holmes has pipped Su­sanna Reid, Piers Mor­gan and Dan Walker in a poll of the best break­fast show hosts of all time.

Early morn­ing cred­its for the Belfast-born star (be­low) in­clude GMTV, Sun­rise and a re­cent stint re­turn­ing to the break­fast sofa on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain.

Con­tro­ver­sial pre­sen­ter Mor­gan is third, while Mor­gan’s co­host Reid, a for­mer BBC Break­fast pre­sen­ter, is sixth, the high­est-placed fe­male.

Johnny Vaughan is sec­ond for Chan­nel 4’s The Big Break­fast, which he co-hosted with Denise Van Outen.

Chris Evans, who also hosted the fa­mous 90s show, is ninth in the poll for Ra­, one place ahead of Lor­raine Kelly, whose cred­its in­clude TV-AM, GMTV and Day­break.

Holmes (57) now co-hosts This Morn­ing with wife Ruth Langs­ford ev­ery Fri­day. He said: “Well, I’m the long­est-serv­ing break­fast TV pre­sen­ter of all time, so I’d like to think that in some way you’re not only just the long­est or hang­ing in there, but it also equates to be­ing quite good at it.

“Thank you for re­mem­ber­ing that I was there in good days and bad days, when the weather was good, when the weather was bad, when the news was good, when the news was bad, and thank you for your mem­o­ries of me.”

BBC Break­fast took most of the places in the list, with Walker fourth, Bill Turn­bull fifth, LouEAMONN ise Minchin sev­enth, Naga Munchetty 11th and Sian Wil­liams 12th, among the names.

Good Morn­ing Bri­tain host and ex-Strictly Come Danc­ing star Char­lotte Hawkins is not on the list and nei­ther is ex-GMTV pre­sen­ter Fiona Phillips.

Ra­ edi­tor Tim Glan­field said: “Break­fast TV hosts have a very special place in the na­tion’s heart.

“While the rest of us are bleary-eyed and seek­ing out our first caf­feine fix, this very rare breed of pre­sen­ters man­ages to ed­u­cate, en­ter­tain and in­form us whilst hav­ing been up since 3am.

“There couldn’t be a bet­ter win­ner than Ea­monn Holmes. A break­fast tele­vi­sion in­sti­tu­tion and a master of live tele­vi­sion.”

The poll was com­piled from more than 33,000 votes.

Viewpoint, page 22

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