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Strictly’s Anton du Beke reveals his father physically abused him

Anton du Beke has revealed he was physically abused by his ‘aggressive’ father, in a candid interview about his childhood.

Speaking to The Times magazine on Saturday, the professional ballroom dancer, 54, admitted his Hungarian father Antal used to ‘fly off the handle’ and beat him with a belt, as he went on to admit he ‘didn’t care’ when he died in 2001.

Detailing his childhood, Anton explained: ‘He was the hard, eastern European type. Heavy drinker, heavy smoker. It was a different time and you’d have the belt taken to you and stuff like that.’

Candid: Strictly's Anton du Beke revealed on Saturday his 'aggressive' father used to physically abuse him as a child as he admitted he 'didn't care' when he died

Candid: Strictly's Anton du Beke revealed on Saturday his 'aggressive' father used to physically abuse him as a child as he admitted he 'didn't care' when he died

Candid: Strictly’s Anton du Beke revealed on Saturday his ‘aggressive’ father used to physically abuse him as a child as he admitted he ‘didn’t care’ when he died

Anton clarified that his father was only abusive towards him and not to his mother or his two siblings, as he went on: ‘He’d just fly off the handle and he was always slightly aggressive anyway.’ 

The Strictly Come Dancing star said he would often return home and hope his father wasn’t around, and would go out of his way to not be in the same room as him as he would ‘either be drunk or half drunk.’  

Anton had no contact with his father following his parents divorce when he was in his early twenties, and only heard about him again after he had passed away in 2001.

Troubled childhood: Anton (pictured with his 2020 dance partner Jacqui Smith) admitted his Hungarian father Antal used to 'fly off the handle' and beat him with a belt

Troubled childhood: Anton (pictured with his 2020 dance partner Jacqui Smith) admitted his Hungarian father Antal used to 'fly off the handle' and beat him with a belt

Troubled childhood: Anton (pictured with his 2020 dance partner Jacqui Smith) admitted his Hungarian father Antal used to ‘fly off the handle’ and beat him with a belt

Discussing the phone call he received from the coroner’s office, Anton admitted he told them to call back after his mother had returned home as he ‘knew why’ they were calling and didn’t want 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 said. 

Anton was raised in Sevenoaks, Kent by his Spanish mother Ascension and his father, and said the patriarch was not supportive of his dancing ambitions but praised his ‘incredible’ mother for working three jobs so that he could have lessons.

Avoiding him: Anton also said he would go out of his way to not be in the same room as him as he would 'either be drunk or half drunk'

Avoiding him: Anton also said he would go out of his way to not be in the same room as him as he would 'either be drunk or half drunk'

Avoiding him: Anton also said he would go out of his way to not be in the same room as him as he would ‘either be drunk or half drunk’

Anton is set to step out on the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom on Saturday alongside Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The former Labour home secretary has described him as ‘gorgeous’, and the pair are set to dance the foxtrot together.

Jacqui has insisted she would not be falling victim to the notorious ‘Strictly curse’ in which contestants, including Seann Walsh, cheated with their dance partners.

She has revealed she is in a new relationship after separating in January from Richard Timney, her husband of 33 years.

‘I won’t have it said that Anton is not gorgeous,’ added Jacqui. ‘But he is happily married and I am in a newish, but lovely, relationship. Trust us, there will be no Strictly curse.’

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 

Honest: Anton said of receiving a call from the coroner after his father's death: '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'

Honest: Anton said of receiving a call from the coroner after his father's death: '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'

Honest: Anton said of receiving a call from the coroner after his father’s death: ‘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’

Source: Daily Mail | BBC News & Gossip

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