Following the official announcement of Anton’s new role after 17 years as a pro dancer, Oti posted on Instagram: “He made it! JUDGE @mrantondubeke super proud of you Anton and so happy!
“Feels like positivity is in the air – everyone gets what they’ve wanted and hoped for for years and it’s a beautiful sight to see with the @bbcstrictly first @jmanrara now @mrantondubeke nothing but joy and pride for both of you we will miss you Anton in rehearsals- you were my first ever strictly professional partner but it will be better to see you doing what you love #strictly.”
Strictly host Tess Daly commented on Oti’s post: “You beauty Anton!”
Johannes tweeted: “This is amazing news!!! my oh my we’ll miss our @BrunoTonioli.”
Graziano posted on Instagram: Youuu Made it!! New Judge on @bbcstrictly!!
So proud of you!! The one and only @mrantondubeke.”
Her husband Aljaž posted a video of him and Anton and wrote: “Yes Yes Yes! Massive congratulations to @mrantondubeke for becoming a new judge on @bbcstrictly.
“First I am beyond happy for you! But than I am gonna miss rehearsals with you more than u know. Every day something that we would be laughing to or at. U’ve been such a role model of mine since I came to UK and I am proud to call u a friend.
“Already last season for a couple of weeks u showed how incredible u will be as a judge and now to get to be judged by u every week it is a privilege and bliss.
“Ps. Every single dance of yours on Strictly I would score a 10. At least 9….. Food for thought.”
Karen Hauer posted on her Instagram Story: “Massive congratulations to this amazing, funny, hard working human. Beyond happy! It’s about time you’re a judge baby!!”
Gorka Marquez shared on his Instagram Story: “So happy to see Anton as a judge this series.”
Nancy Xu added: “Our king of the ballroom. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! IT’S GONNA BE AMAZING.”
“Dust off that 10 paddle,” Dianne Buswell wrote on her Instagram.
In a statement about his new role, Anton said: “My loves I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be stepping into Bruno’s brogues for the next series of Strictly.
“It’s a dream come true to be judging alongside the best of the best and I promise to be kinder to all the couples than any of them have ever been to me.”
Addressing his absence, Bruno joked: “Whilst I am gutted to not be on the show this year there is one person and one person only that could take my place – it’s just a shame they weren’t available… haha!”
Bruno added: “Darlings I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Seriously though, I have to tell you, Anton is Mr Strictly and if anybody is filling in for me, it has to be him.
“I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so excited to see him waggle his paddle.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.