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Strictly Come Dancing's Anton du Beke reveals surprise dance partner

Anton was confirmed in the 2018 Strictly line-up on Wednesday

Hanna Fillingham

Anton du Beke's participation in the next series of Strictly Come Dancing has delighted fans, and in the lead-up to the competition in September, he has been keeping busy practicing with a new dance partner. Last week, Anton teased fans on social media that he was dancing with a mystery woman, revealing it a few days later to be author Stephanie Butland. The pair had been practicing the tango together in a short video posted on Anton's Instagram account. In a new post, Anton said: "I’m thrilled to share with you all the tango lesson I gave fellow author, the wonderful @stephaniebutlandauthor whose character in her book, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae, also learns to tango! Watch the video on my blog… plus I reveal some more about my upcoming book! www.antondubeke.tv/the-plot-thickens/ #AntonDuBook #OneEnchantedEvening."

Anton du Beke and his new dance partner Stephanie Butland

On Wednesday, Strictly Come Dancing announced the full line-up of professionals who will appear on the show for the 2018 series, while also revealing that as well as Brendan Cole, another dancer - Chloe Hewitt – will no longer be part of the show. Chloe first joined Strictly in 2016, and while she was never partnered up with a celebrity on the main show, she took lead roles in group numbers and often appeared on It Takes Two.

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Anton had previously teased Stephanie's identity

It was revealed earlier in the year that Brendan had also been axed from the dance show, and Anton later opened up about his friend's shock departure during an appearance on Lorraine. Describing it as "the saddest thing," he said: "There's something about being with Brendan on the show and having been there since the beginning – there's only a few of us left. I've known Brendan for a long time anyway, and we've been friends for many, many years, and being on the show together was lovely for me. You've got a brother-in-arms sort of thing." As well as Brendan and Chloe's departures, the show has confirmed three newcomers to join the next series. The new world-class dancers joining the show are Italian Latin Champion Graziano Di Prima, Professional South African Latin Champion Johannes Radebe and four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship Luba Mushtuk.

RELATED: Kevin Clifton on Brendan Cole's Strictly exit: 'The BBC does tend to get it right'

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