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Anton Du Beke details childhood abuse from father and admits he ‘didn’t care’ when he died

Anton Du Beke. 53, recalled how his Hungarian father Antal Du Beke would often “fly off the handle” when he was young and it left him not “caring” when he died back in 2001. The professional ballroom dancer described his dad as “a hard, Eastern European type. Heavy drinker, heavy smoker.”

He was always slightly aggressive

Anton Du Beke

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

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

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The 53-year-old said: “He’d just fly off the handle and he was always slightly aggressive.”

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

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Anton Du Beke. 53, recalled how his Hungarian father Antal would often “fly off the handle” (Image: WENN/GETTY)

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, saying 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.

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As a child, the dancer was raised in Sevenoaks, Kent by his Spanish mother Ascension, who was supportive of his career ambitions. She worked three jobs, so he could afford to have dance lessons, while his father was less encouraging.

The interview comes as Anton will light up the Strictly Come Dancing 2020 ballroom today with his celebrity partner and former home secretary Jacqui Smith.

The latter said of her partner: “I won’t have it said that Anton is not gorgeous.

“But he is happily married and I am in a newish, but lovely, relationship. Trust us, there will be no Strictly curse,” she added to The Daily Mail.

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Anton has appeared on the show since 2004 when the BBC show first aired and has been a staple ever since.

Before his professional dancing career launched, Anton started off as a salesman and now lives in Buckinghamshire with his family.

The former ballroom champion is married to wife Hannah Summer, who he began dating in 2009 after meeting at a golf club.

In 2016, Anton had hinted he was ready to tie the knot with her and said: “She’s just perfect. I love her above all things. Will we marry? Maybe next year. We’re very happy.”

The couple first sparked rumours they’d tied the knot after Hannah, wore an engagement ring and wedding band during the first day of the Chelsea Flower Show in 2017.

The same year Anton and Hannah welcomed their twins George and Henrietta.

They arrived nearly a week early, with Anton assuring fans at the time that everyone was well.

Strictly Come Dancing airs on BBC One tonight at 7.25pm.

If you have been impacted by this article, contact NSPCC’s helpline at 0808 800 5000 for free confidential advice, or if you’re 18 or under call 0800 1111   


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