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Anton Du Beke left 'surprised’ by Jacqui Smith discovery as she addresses show ‘curse’


Former Labour MP Jacqui Smith, 57, will take to the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 dance floor this Saturday with the show’s veteran professional Anton Du Beke, 54. Ahead of their first performance together, the Strictly hopeful has revealed her dance partner has been impressed with how quickly she has picked things up in training.

In a new interview, Jacqui was asked if she felt like it was “an insult” to be partnered up with Anton, following his string of “comedy” partners.

But laughing off the question, Jacqui insisted he has so far been impressed with her moves.

She said: “Anton got to the final last year and he’s very clear about that and very ambitious for us, as am I.

“I think he was pleasantly surprised with my ability to pick things up.

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“I think we’re going to have slightly more in the dance than perhaps he feared.”

Jacqui went on to address the show’s so-called curse, a term used to describe when a celebrity or pro’s relationship has broken down during or shortly after their time on the show.

The politician shut down any thought of getting romantically close to married Anton, as she revealed she has a new partner.

“I won’t have it said that Anton is not gorgeous,” she added to The Guardian.

“But, he is happily married and I am in a newish, but lovely, relationship.”

Jacqui split from her husband of 33 years Richard Timney back in January. The identity of her new partner is unknown.

Anton has been married to Hannah Summers since 2017 and the pair share three-year-old twins George and Henrietta together.

The Strictly professional has been a dancer on the show since its inception in 2004.

Last year, he came close to winning the show for the first time with EastEnders actress Emma Barton.

The dancing duo wowed the judges with their Showdance, Charleston and Viennese Waltz routines in the final, but missed out on the Glitterball trophy to Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse.

Previously addressing Kelvin’s win, he said: “Emma was terrific and we had a chance but Kelvin was remarkable in the final and to dance a Rumba and a Samba.

“I wanted to hand him the trophy just for being mad!



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