Anton Du Beke: 'My father stabbed me in the stomach'

When he was a teenager, Anton Du Beke was stabbed in the leg and stomach by his father, he has said.

Anton Du Beke has revealed he spent three days in hospital after he was stabbed in the stomach and the leg by his father on Boxing Day while he was living at the family home in Kent

Anton Du Beke was stabbed in the leg and stomach by his father when he was a teenager living in Kent, he has said.

This is the first time the newest Strictly Come Dancing judge, 57, has spoken about the childhood incident.

Far from the glamorous Strictly ballroom, Du Beke grew up on a council estate in Sevenoaks, with a Spanish mother and Hungarian father.

While he was discovering his flair for dancing at the local studio, alcoholism gripped his father at home – and Du Beke said he “took a turn” against him.

Anton Du Beke returns to the judging panel this year following news of Bruno Tonioli’s exit / Credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA

On ITV’s Kate Garraway’s life stories, he said: “The alcoholism and the violence…(it was) towards me, because I was a boy, a young man I suppose…

“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.

“It came to a head one evening, I ended up in hospital for three days….I got stabbed, I’ve never said this out loud before.”

Du Beke was certain his family and friends were unaware of the attack because he never spoke about the ordeal.

Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke posed in a curly blonde wig. / Credit: CLIC Sargent

Holding back the tears as he recalled 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.

“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’.

“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.”

Judy Murray and Anton Du Beke during their final dance / Credit: Guy Levy/PA Wire

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

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

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.”

Contestants Anton Du Beke and Fiona Fullerton. / Credit: Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA Wire

Du Beke was the longest-serving professional dancer on Strictly, having been a fixture on the BBC One series since it began, until he swapped the dance floor for the judging panel to take over from departing judge Bruno Tonioli permanently in 2021.

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.

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

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

If you are facing domestic abuse there are a number of charities which can help

If you are able to call the police on 101 or on 999 in an emergency

Call women’s aid or their partner The Mix if you are under 14-years-old


If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, a good first step is to see a GP.

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