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Du Beke 'punished by Widdecombe pairing'

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Strictly Come Dancing 2010 - Ann Widdecombe

© BBC

Anton Du Beke has allegedly been partnered with Ann Widdecombe in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing as punishment for his part in last year's race row.

According to The Sun, show bosses deliberately paired the 44-year-old ballroom professional with the inexperienced MP after he caused controversy for describing his previous partner Laila Rouass as a "P**i" following a spray tan.

A source said: "Of all the female dancers to end up with, Anton would have been dreading Ann. She's about a foot shorter than him and hopeless at dancing.

"He would have wanted someone sexier like Pasty Kensit so this is a real slap in the face for him. But I think if he's honest with himself he kind of deserves it as he caused a real problem last year."

However, Du Beke insisted that he is happy to compete alongside Widdecombe. "I've got the most wonderful partner in Ann and I'm very excited," he said.

A BBC spokesperson failed to comment on the reasoning behind the pairing, saying only: "Anton is a very experienced dancer and great teacher - perfect for Ann."

> Widdecombe rules out 'Strictly' fake tan

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