Having been on BBC One’s hit show Strictly Come Dancing since the very beginning, you might expect judge Anton Du Beke’s phonebook to be packed full of famous faces.
And when Anton, 55, took part in Michael McIntyre’s hilarious Send To All game on his Saturday night series, it showed he really does have some VIP contacts.
After Michael sent a fake text to every number in his phone, offering them some discounted cosmetic surgery, Anton received messages back from the likes of Judge Rinder, Dawn French – and even Take That frontman Gary Barlow.
Now, in an exclusive chat with OK! Magazine, Anton has opened up about his close friendship with Gary, describing the singer and former X Factor judge as his “showbiz best friend.”
Anton explained: “It was funny when we were putting that together because Michael wanted people like my plumber or gardener and I don’t really have their numbers.”
He added: “But I have a few famous names in my phone. I’ve been lucky. I’ve met a lot of lovely people.”
Speaking about 50-year-old Gary, Anton explained the pair have become good mates over the years, and even kept in touch during last year’s lockdown.
Anton explained: “I did a duet with Gary Barlow in the lockdown. Gary’s my showbiz best friend.”
The pair teamed up for a performance of Lionel Ritchie’s Dancing on the Ceiling as part of Gary’s ‘The Crooner Sessions.’
During the interview, Anton, who is dad to twins George and Henrietta with wife Hannah, also lifted the lid on some of his other famous friendships.
He revealed: “Reverend Richard Coles christened the children. Isn’t that nice?”
“And I played a round of golf with Michael [McIntyre] a few days ago – I have so many lovely friends.”
This comes after Anton, who joined Strictly’s judging panel this year, recently opened up about how he felt so lucky to be working on the show, as well as rehearsing for his upcoming pantomime.
The star said: “I’m loving every second of it because I’m doing all my best things, I’m on stage and I’m doing Strictly Come Dancing, that’s like my favourite things in the world.”
To read more about your favourite Strictly stars, sign up to our daily OK! newsletter. Anton Du Beke is appearing in Cinderella at London’s Richmond Theatre from 3 December until 2 January. for Tickets, from £13, see atgtickets.com/Richmond
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