A ten from Len? No, but a Hartlepool dancer did get a 15 from Anton!
We asked for readers memories of the night when Strictly Come Anton du Beke came to town to judge an amateur dance competition, held as a fundraiser.
And one man fondly remembers Anton, who is one of the front runners to join the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing judging panel when Len Goodman steps down.
George Newbury, from Hartlepool, was a competitor in a Hartlepool charity version of Strictly ten years ago.
He said: “One of the highlights for me was when I had danced and Anton held up a card to give me a 5.
“My family were right behind Anton and one of them shouted ‘come on grandad’. Anton put a 1 in front of the 5 and gave me a mark of 15!”
One of the highlights was when I had danced and Anton held up a card to give me a 5. My family were right behind Anton and one of them shouted ‘come on grandad’. Anton put a 1 in front of the 5 and gave me a mark of 15!George Newbury
George described Anton as a “wonderful fellow. There were no airs and graces. I remember he came into the men’s dressing room and he was talking to us about football. He was asking us how Pools were getting on. I can’t praise him enough, he was a wonderful man.”
The charity event, held in the Borough Hall on the Headland, was organised by Carol Hammond who owns the Carol Hammond Dance Studio, in Dalton Street, Hartlepool.
It was based on a similar theme to Strictly Come Dancing and more than 500 people watched amateurs doing their best to impress on the dance floor in front of Anton and the then fellow Strictly star Erin Boag.
George recalled: “I had to do the waltz, a quickstep, and we all had to do the cha cha. I think I came about fifth. I was about half way up the field.”
George could already dance, he admitted: “I never had any lessons but I was like a lot of people who picked it up in the Queen’s Rink ballroom.”
He remembers spotting the amateur version of Strictly advertised and decided to give it a go, especially as it meant he could raise money in memory of his beloved wife Joyce, who died from cancer, aged 66, in 2005.
George wanted to raise money for Hartlepool’s hospice which had helped Joyce with aromatherapy.
Anton remains one of the front runners to replace Len Goodman when he steps down as a Strictly judge at the end of the current series.