Ian Waite, 49, has admitted he encouraged Anton du Beke, 53, to announce his retirement from Strictly Come Dancing last year. In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, the professional dancer and It Takes Two presenter revealed how he told the King of Ballroom to jokingly tell fans he was stepping back from the BBC show last year.
Although Ian insisted “there’s never been any talk of Anton retiring”, he said he previously advised the Strictly favourite to make the big declaration about his future on the series in order to get more votes if he reached the final with his partner Emma Barton.
Ian, who is preparing to embark on his second tour with fellow pro Vincent Simone, explained: “I think he loves it, it’s his life so there’s never been any talk of him retiring to be honest.
“I did say to him last year when he was maybe going to be in the final, I said, ‘Listen, if you announce that if you win you’ll retire and then everyone votes for you. Then when it comes to winning it you should say, 'No actually, I was only joking!’
“Maybe he should do that! That would be a good chance of winning, like a, ‘This is my last show,’ kind of thing.”
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Anton du Beke's Strictly co-star talks ‘retirement’ advice he gave him (Image: WENN•BBC)
Ian Waite was a professional dancer on Strictly (Image: GETTY)
Anton did indeed make it to the show’s grand finale with the EastEnders actress, but appeared to opt against Ian’s funny advice.
He has been part of the show’s line-up since it began in 2004 and just missed out on lifting the coveted Glitterball trophy with Emma to Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse in 2019.
Ian also spoke out about missing being partnered with celebrities on Strictly after he left his role as a professional dancer in 2010.
He divulged: “I do miss the main show and I’d love to do something on it one day.
Ian Waite is going on tour with Vincent Simone (Image: STRICTLY THEATRE CO.)
Anton du Beke reached the Strictly final with Emma Barton last year (Image: GETTY)sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled