Duo hotfoot it on to own stage

Anton & Erin - credit Gregory Michael Ki
Anton & Erin - credit Gregory Michael Ki

WHEN Strictly Come Dancing arrives on tour next week two of the show’s most familiar faces – and feet – will be missing from the Motorpoint Arena line-up.

That’s because Anton du Beke and Erin Boag like to take their own show out on the road following the tango web and drama of all those Saturday nights.

“We enjoy Strictly, then we feel by December that we’d like to do our own thing,” says New Zealand-born Erin ahead of their show landing at Sheffield City Hall on Saturday. When we do our Anton & Erin tour it’s our show, a chance to show off our dancing as a couple, not out there with a celebrity.

“Strictly is still under the Strictly brand, if you like, and you become one of many. Our show is a two hour show and for the majority we’re on the floor. Every night is different for us because we have a different audience and you play off the audience, if you like.”

Anton & Erin: Let’s Do It sees the pair travel with an orchestra, backing dancers and Lance Ellington, one of the Strictly show singers.

Neither of the two professionals made it to the finals of the 2010 series, but Erin reckons she had plenty to laugh about as partner to TV impersonator and comic Rory Bremner.

“I saw the line-up and we met them a couple of days before we found out which one was ours. We had to do a group number together and Rory was one of the ones I thought, ‘he’s all right, I like him and he can move a bit as well’. He had a great sense of humour which always helps because you’re in with these people seven days a week.

“When you’re in the show and haven’t been knocked out it is seven days a week, 24 seven. Even as a professional when you’re not at training you’re putting choreography together or doing the professional numbers, sorting out the music.

“It’s completely and utterly full on and the celebrity is dreaming it, having dreams and nightmares probably about the routine they’ve got to go out with at the weekend.

“But it’s all good fun and you probably experience every emotion possible during the time you’re in the show. And when you leave you miss those emotions, the physical work and exercises, and the friends that go with it.”

Anton and Erin have danced together for 15 years, taking their tours to Sheffield in previous years, and the Kiwi recalls precisely the first time she met the man who talks as smoothly as he moves.

“I was in the dance studio and he walked in, says ‘hello love’, spins me in, puts me down, gives me a smooch and then flicks me off. As he walked away I turned around and went ‘is this guy for real?’

“He always has to make a grand entrance and he hasn’t changed a bit. He’s hilarious and a real gentleman. All the ladies love him because he sweeps them off their feet - that’s exactly what he did with me when I met him.”