Anton Du Beke is "so delighted" to fill in for Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel for this year's Strictly Come Dancing.
It was announced on Thursday that the professional dancer, who has been with the show since it began in 2004, will join Shirley Ballas, Craig Revel Horwood and Motsi Mabuse on the judging panel later this year as Bruno had to pull out of the 2021 edition due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Speaking about his new job on BBC Breakfast on Friday, Anton struggled to express exactly how much the news means to him.
"Everybody knows how much I love the show, so just being involved is an enormous thrill every year. To be asked to come in and judge for this year, I'm so delighted, I can't even begin to tell you. It hasn't sunk in yet, really," he gushed. "I can't wait to get started, get on the panel and sit with the other three judges and watch the show unfold in front of me."
He added that his experience of performing on the show will give him a unique perspective, saying, "I'll have that feeling of, I know exactly what you meant to do, and I know exactly how that has gone for you."
Bruno told fans that he is "gutted" to be missing this year's show but is glad Anton will be his replacement.
"Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him. I honestly wouldn't have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle," he joked.
Sources have told The Sun that Bruno, who will be in America to judge Dancing with the Stars, hopes to return to the U.K. in time for the Strictly Christmas special.