Anton Du Beke is brought to book in Milton Keynes

You know him as the fast-footed, slick gent who lights up Saturday night prime time TV as the longest serving, wittiest and warm of the Strictly professionals.

Thursday, 29th November 2018, 10:48 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:51 am
Anton Du Beke at Waterstone's in Milton Keynes this week

But Anton Du Beke has plenty more strings to his bow; Aside from his long dance floor partnership with Erin Boag, Anton has successfully turned his hand to presenting, and last year his debut CD hit the charts.

Now he has turned his hand to writing, with his first novel, One Enchanted Evening currently doing swell business - it's a Sunday Times Bestseller.

"It's an idea I've had floating about for years," he tells Sammy Jones, talking at Waterstone's in intu Milton Keynes, where he is about to go and meet his adoring public.

Anton's debut novel is a Sunday Times Bestseller

"I've done a couple of books before, but they were 'learn to dance' type books. To do a novel is such a different mindset and people go, ' think you're a novelist, do you?

"But actually, I just wanted to tell a story, and I had the whole thing playing in my mind - the shape of the characters, what was going on, all that stuff..."

Publishers Bonnier Zaffre loved Anton's vision and they got on like a house on fire: "I love optimism and enthusiasm and we got a team together."

If Anton doesn't seem like the sort of chap who would bury himself away in a room writing for hours on end, it's because he's not: "If you stick me in a room at the bottom of the garden and say 'write 40,000 words, I'd just about make the title!

"I've got to tell the story and someone else can tap away. That's just the way I like to do it."

And for anyone looking for a nice book to cozy up with this Autumn, One Enchanted Evening is just the thing.

"I'm a great fan of Poirot and Agatha Christie, that sort of thing," Anton says, "Everything in it is real; a ballroom I've danced in, a hotel I've been to...and everyone is based on real people I know, or have heard spoken about.

"It's just a lovely story for anyone who wants to have a good read and immerse themselves in a nice story," he says.

> One Enchanted Evening by Anton Du Beke, out in hardback now, Zaffre, £18.99