Strictly star Anton Du Beke tearfully reveals he was stabbed by father

‘I’ve never said this out loud before’: Moment Strictly star Anton Du Beke chokes back tears as he opens up about wanting ‘a new beginning’ after growing up in an abusive household and being stabbed by his own alcoholic father as a child

  • Anton Du Beke spent three days in hospital after he was stabbed by father
  • Incident happened on Boxing Day at the family home in Sevenoaks, Kent 

Anton Du Beke has emotionally revealed he was stabbed as a child in the stomach and the leg by his father on Boxing Day – leaving him in hospital for three days.

The 57-year-old Strictly Come Dancing judge said the shocking incident happened while he was living at the family home on a council estate in Sevenoaks, Kent.

The professional dancer added that the revelations will likely come as a surprise to his friends and family as it is the first time in his ‘entire life’ he has spoken about it.

Born to a Spanish mother and Hungarian father, Du Beke discovered his flair for dancing after picking his sister Veronica up from a local studio in the town.

Although his mother encouraged his new hobby, his father, Antal, ‘took a turn’ against Du Beke as alcoholism gripped him and he became violent at home.

Du Beke has spoken out Kate Garraway’s Life Stories in an episode due to air on ITV1 at 9pm tonight – and a preview clip was played on Good Morning Britain today.

Anton Du Beke appears on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories in an episode due to air on ITV1 tonight 

Strictly Come Dancing judge Anton Du Beke spoke on Kate Garraway’s Life Stories on ITV1

Du Beke has spoken out Kate Garraway’s Life Stories which will air this evening on ITV1

In it, Garraway asks him: ‘Was the violence towards you?’ Du Beke replies: ‘Me, yeah. I’ve never spoken about this before in my entire life actually. I wanted a new start, and a new beginning. I mean I ended up in hospital for three days, but it was…’

Author, dancer and judge: Life of Strictly’s Anton Du Beke 

Anton Du Beke was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, to a Spanish mother and Hungarian father.

He discovered a passion for dancing after picking his sister Veronica up from a local studio in the town.

Du Beke was the longest-serving professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing, having been a fixture on the BBC One series since it began.

He then swapped the dance floor for the judging panel to take over from departing judge Bruno Tonioli permanently in 2021.

His celebrity partners over the years have included former home secretary Jacqui Smith, soap star Emma Barton and politician Ann Widdecombe.

Off the dance floor, Du Beke is an author having published novels including We’ll Meet Again, One Enchanted Evening and A Christmas To Remember.

His solo tour, An Audience With Anton Du Beke starts this month.

Garraway said: ‘Did you?’ Du Beke replied: ‘Yeah.’ Garraway then asked: ‘Why, what happened?’ Du Beke said: ‘I got, I got stabbed. I’ve never said this out loud before.’

After the clip was played, Garraway then said in the GMB studio: ‘It was very, very, serious… physically, medically and obviously devastating emotionally.’

She added: ‘He would go on to say how it didn’t (hold him back) and he would go on to say the triumphs that he’s had and the other struggles that he’s had along the way.

‘And that is the thing, isn’t it? That is the lesson that you want youngsters and other people who may be experiencing violent, difficult, disturbing lives to look at and think ‘well, we can go forward and not let it define us’.’

In other quotes provided to the media ahead of the broadcast tonight – but not yet revealed in a video – Du Beke told Garraway: ‘The alcoholism and the violence…(it was) towards me, because I was a boy, a young man I suppose.

‘…You’ve got an alcoholic father and a situation where if you’re in the house (he’s) drinking then you end up with the fights and stuff.

‘You’d move room to get away from all of it and then he follows you in and the next thing you know the violence starts and then it came to a head one evening, I ended up in hospital for three days.’

Du Beke said he was sure his family and friends did not know about the attack because he never saw any gain from speaking about his ordeal, telling Garraway: ‘I’m a forward looker…I don’t like to look back, I like to look forward.’

Recalling the incident, he continued: ‘…I got stabbed in the leg and in the stomach because of a fight on Boxing Day and it was an idiotic situation.

Born to a Spanish mother and Hungarian father, Anton Du Beke discovered a flair for dancing 

Anton Du Beke pictured as a baby with his Spanish mother Ascensión ‘Conchita’ Lema

‘I remember walking out of the house to walk up to the hospital holding my leg and a police car drove past and I waved them down and I said ‘he’s in there with a knife’.

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‘Anyway, they carted him off and I ended up in hospital for three or four days. My only concern was getting back into the studio and dancing and the embarrassment of it.’

Du Beke said he told people he had ‘pulled a hamstring’ when asked about his leg injury because he was embarrassed.

He told host Garraway: ‘I can’t really believe I’m talking to you about this. I should’ve glossed over this. Even the thought of that (the attack) being a thing sort of annoys me as well.’

Garraway said Du Beke’s father was cleared in court of wounding his son and when he died, Du Beke did not attend his funeral.

‘Everything was about moving forwards, I felt sorry for my mum, this was her husband, she’s working two jobs and he chose to drink and be violent, it’s just life and you carry on,’ he said.

At the time, the aspiring dancer changed his name ‘from Tony Beke, who grew up on a council estate’ to ‘Anton Du Beke, The Show Man’.

He said: ‘I wanted a new start and a new beginning and I wanted to leave what went before, behind, and then move on with the rest of my life, I just wanted to be me.’ 

Du Beke also said his motivation to achieve success was not because of his father.

Du Beke is now married to wife Hannah with whom he shares twins George and Henrietta, six 

Anton du Beke with Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse and Craig Revel Horwood on Strictly

He added: ‘I hate woe is me, I never sought any sense of confirmation or encouragement from him and I never did anything I did because of him.

‘My motivation to do what I did was not because of that.’

TV presenter Garraway, who took over from Piers Morgan as the host of Life Stories this year, said she knew Du Beke is ‘larger than life’ but is also a ‘very private’ man after her time dancing with him on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007.

She said: ‘He has a philosophy about his relationship with his fans that he is there to bring joy into their lives and doesn’t want to share any of his own troubles.

‘But with me he does, and it showed a huge leap of trust on his part, because many of the things we talked about he hadn’t even really talked about even with his close family, and I felt so honoured to be able to help him to share it.’

Actor Omid Djalili and Ruby Wax have also spoken to Garraway for this run of Life Stories.

Kate Garraway’s Life Stories airs tonight (Wednesday) at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX

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