For Anton du Beke, it feels a little bit like cheating.

He is returning to their favourite venue, where he and Erin Boag first had the idea of touring in their own show.

But he is not dancing with Erin. Instead, he will be waltzing across the stage of Symphony Hall with West End star Summer Strallen in the new show Ballroom To Broadway.

It’s not that he has ditched Erin after 17 years together and nine years appearing on Strictly Come Dancing. It’s because she is pregnant and expecting her first child in spring with her husband, businessman Peter O’Dowd.

So Anton has recruited a new partner in Top Hat star Summer.

He says: “My hero is Fred Astaire and my favourite film of his is The Band Wagon, where he danced with Cyd Charisse.

“So I like to think of Erin as my Ginger Rogers and Summer as my Cyd. I know people will be disappointed not to see Erin, but I’m really excited about dancing with Summer.

“There will be plenty of dances to classics like Anything Goes and Rhythm of Life. I’ll also be doing a bit of singing – a duet or two with Strictly singer Lance Ellington – and I’ll be chatting to the audience and doing a question and answer session.

“I think the weirdest question I’ve ever been asked is my favourite cheese. I couldn’t choose!

“Erin is still very much involved with the show, helping with the dances and the costumes, and I’ll be working with her again after the baby is born. She is already planning our 2015 tour.”

He is also looking forward to playing Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, not once but twice in February and March.

“It’s where it all began,” he reveals. “Erin and I were invited to Symphony Hall six years ago to perform a couple of numbers with John Wilson and the CBSO in a show called Symphony Ballroom.

“It gave us the idea for doing our own show, which we’ve done for the last five years.

“Every year we’ve added something else. For the last couple of years, Rory Bremner has written us new lyrics for songs like I Remember It Well from Gigi. He’s so clever, he made them about us and Strictly.

“I know you’ll think I’m just saying this, but Symphony Hall really is my favourite stop on the tour. It’s such a great venue and we always get such lovely houses.”

Anton has had a series of “interesting” celebrity partners over the years on the BBC1 series Strictly Come Dancing. As well as competent dancers like Lesley Garrett, Patsy Palmer and Laila Rouass, he has also quickstepped with more comedy characters like Ann Widdecombe and Nancy Dell’Olio.

Anton du Beke with regular dance partner Erin Boag
Anton du Beke with regular dance partner Erin Boag
 

In the latest series he actually got the opportunity to dance, rather than drag his partner across the floor, with actress Fiona Fullerton. They lasted eight weeks.

Anton, 47, says: “I can’t say this series of Strictly was my all-time favourite, as I enjoy them all. For me it’s always about building a relationship with a new partner and making sure they enjoy themselves.

“I like to think I click every year with my partners. It’s not always about being the best dancer, it’s about them having fun. I would hate it if I heard back that someone had hated their Strictly experience. That would be a real shame and mean I hadn’t done my job properly.”

He and Brendan Cole are the only original Strictly dancers to have appeared in all the series.

And he is one of only four British dancers out of 15 professionals on the show, along with James Jordan, Robin Windsor and Kevin Clifton.

“Bringing Kevin in means we actually have more British dancers than normal,” he comments.

“Ballroom dancing is a global activity so I’m not surprised that we have so many foreign professionals, it’s the way it’s always been. Erin is from New Zealand and Brendan is also a Kiwi.”

Anton intends to stay with Strictly for as long as he can, although he has expressed an interest in the past in taking over as a presenter when Bruce Forsyth retires.

Brucie has given him his blessing, saying “I adore Anton, he would be great”.

Now he is staying tight-lipped: “I love Bruce, he’s my hero. We will have to wait and see, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about it.”

Always eager to add new strings to his bow, Anton could be venturing into the acting world next. Fiona Fullerton is writing a sitcom in which he would make his debut as a dancing lothario.

“The idea is tremendous but getting it on screen is a very long process. But if it comes about, I would love to do it.

“You know me, I like to try everything. Although I don’t fancy going into the jungle on I’m A Celebrity.”

* Anton appears in Ballroom To Broadway at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on February 8 and March 9. For tickets ring 0121 345 0603 or go to www.thsh.co.uk.