Anton Du Beke and Brendan Cole are reportedly both keen to fill Len Goodman’s judging spot on the Strictly Come Dancing panel.
The 72-year-old head judge announced he will be leaving the BBC talent show after this year’s series, following 12 years on the panel of the programme.
And now Strictly professionals Anton and Brendan are said to be in a “grudge match” over who should be named a judge in Len’s place.
According to The Sun newspaper, Anton, 49, believes he is the frontrunner because he is said to have the backing of Len and former host of the show Bruce Forsyth to take on a judging position.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Brendan apparently considers himself the favourite because of his past experience as a judge on the New Zealand version of the show.
“Anton and Brendan have been with Strictly from the start and have been waiting for this opportunity,” a source told the publication.
“Anton doesn’t want to miss out on a big opportunity to join the judges. But Brendan is confident because he was a hit as a judge on the New Zealand version and thinks that was perfect grounding.”
It remains to be seen who BBC bosses choose to join Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell on the panel. But The Sun cites a source confirming both Brendan and Anton are in the running.
“They’re very knowledgeable and are popular with loyal fans,” the insider added. “Everyone knows Anton and Brendan want it desperately. This year’s series will be seen as an audition and they’ll be out to impress.”
The odds have already been set – with Anton the 2/1 favourite to be named a judge, with Brendan at 20/1, according to bookmakers Ladbrokes.
However, there are also some other names in the ring for the position, including former professional dancers on the show Karen Hardy, Ian Waite and Erin Boag. Ex judge Arlene Phillips could make a return, while It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball is another name linked to the role.
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