Strictly's Anton Du Beke says he was beaten with a belt by his father during childhood

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2 min read
Anton du Beke will be stepping in to present Friday's edition of This Morning with Rochelle Humes (Photo: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Anton du Beke opens up about his childhood (Photo: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Strictly Come Dancing veteran Anton Du Beke has opened up about his childhood which saw his father beat him with a belt.

The star says his dad Antal was a “heavy drinker” and would often “fly off the handle”, leading to young Anton being hit.

The 54-year-old told how he distanced himself from his dad, and “didn’t care” when he learned of his death in 2001.

Read more: Strictly's Anton du Beke 'happy' to be paired with a man on next series

Speaking to The Times, Du Beke said: "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.

"He'd just fly off the handle and he was always slightly aggressive anyway."

He added: "There was always the moment when you came home and opened the front door thinking, ‘I hope he’s not home,’ and trying to avoid him, and not going into the room he was in because there was no benefit of being in the same room as him.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Anton Du Beke and Hannah Summers attend the "Paw Patrol" gala screening at Cineworld Leicester Square on January 19, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Anton Du Beke and Hannah Summers attend the Paw Patrol gala screening at Cineworld Leicester Square on January 19, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Talking about receiving the call telling of his father’s death 19 years ago, he said: "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.”

Du Beke became a father himself at the age of 50 back in 2017 when wife Hannah gave birth to twins George and Henrietta after IVF treatment.

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He told how his “heart just explodes” each time he sees his children during an appearance on Confessions of a Celebrity School Run with Strictly presenter Tess Daly in 2018.

He said: "I don't know what it's like to be a dad to a single baby, I know what it's like to be a dad to twins, and it's the best thing in the whole wide world ever.

"I love every second of it, and they don't feel like twins because we've got one of each – a boy and a girl – they're just two babies. They have two different personalities already, I can't even tell you, my heart just explodes every time I see them.”