Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke has spoken of the physical abuse he suffered as a youngster at the hands of his late father.
The professional dancer, 54, who has been on BBC’s Strictly since the show began, revealed that he “didn’t have a relationship” with his dad and “didn’t care” when he died in 2001.
While Anton has maintained that his Hungarian father Antal was never violent towards his mother or siblings, he explained that he bore the brunt of his anger.
Speaking to The Times, Anton reflected on how his dad had beaten him with a belt and that he was often drunk.
“He was the hard, eastern European type. Heavy drinker, heavy smoker,” the Strictly star said during his interview.
“It was a different time and you’d have the belt taken to you and stuff like that.
“He’d just fly off the handle and he was always slightly aggressive anyway.”
Reflecting upon his childhood, Anton continued: “There was always the moment when you came home and opened the front door thinking, ‘I hope he’s not home,’ and trying to avoid him, and not going into the room he was in because there was no benefit of being in the same room as him.
Anton also explained that his dad wasn’t supportive of his dancing dreams and that any comment about his talent would have been ‘derogatory.’
The ballroom star’s parents eventually divorced, from which time Anton had cut all contact with Antal.
It would be in 2001 when Anton would hear about his dad again when he was at his mum’s house and they received a call from the coroner’s office.
“I knew he was going to tell me my father had died and I didn’t care,” Anton recalled.
“Or want to know. He was a stranger to me. That sounds a bit harsh and I don’t mean to sound like that,” the dancer added.
Anton is due to make his dance debut with celebrity partner Jacqui Smith this weekend on Strictly Come Dancing.
It will be the first time that the pair will face the judge’s critiques as the competition gets fully underway.
Jacqui, who has expressed her excitement about dancing with Anton, will be taking on the Foxtrot in tomorrow’s show.
It comes just one week after the Strictly stars revealed their professional partners and took part in a group dance to celebrate the launch of the much-anticipated show.