ONE of the nation’s best-loved stars, celebrated ballroom dancer of Strictly Come Dancing, Anton Du Beke releases his much-anticipated debut album From The Top on November 24th.
“I’ve been singing for almost as long as I’ve been dancing,” says Anton. “I’ve sung at my dance shows and I’ve sung on Strictly but I never believed I would finally get the chance to make an album.”
Backed by The Overtones and the great Lance Ellington from the Strictly Come Dancing band, the album is a joyful celebration of pure old school swing, delivered in inimitable, impeccable Anton style – where only the absolute best will do for his fans.
Most poignantly, From The Top, is a tribute not just to his beloved wife, Hannah, but to his great friend and mentor, the late Bruce Forsyth.
“Bruce was always a huge hero of mine and I was lucky enough to call him a friend. We’d play golf, we’d have a laugh and we both loved all the old stars like Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jnr. He was so supportive. When I did a tiny show at the Hippodrome in London, he did me the greatest honour by coming down and singing with me.”
One of the songs they sang – Me And My Shadow – is featured on the album alongside other crooning greats including Putting On The Ritz, It Had To Be You, Fly Me To The Moon and Something Stupid.
“All these songs are hugely emotional to me,” says Anton. “Music and dance has been my world since the age of fourteen. I was dancing ballroom before Strictly was even a ghost of an idea. I had to be in work at 3am in a bakery and I would finish work and go straight to dance practice. I had holes in my shoes and absolutely no money but I’d stand in my one suit and a band would play one of these great classic songs and all my troubles would melt away and I would be in heaven.
“What I wanted to do with this album was to perform the songs I love in the absolute best way I possibly could. I was able to work with the best musicians, the best backing singers and wonderful performers like Connie Fisher who sings City of Stars.”
But for Anton, From The Top is proof that the best things in life come to those who wait – and keep on believing.
He says: “I spent my twenties and thirties penniless with just a lot of dreams. I never stopped working as hard as I could to be the best dancer I could be. It has now created an opportunity for me with my singing and with the belief and encouragement of my family, friends and colleagues at Strictly making this album has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. This album is for everyone who loves swing, who loves romance and who believes dreams come true.”