Anton Du Beke has joked that he has got used to being at the bottom of the leaderboard on Strictly Come Dancing over the years.

The veteran ballroom dancer, 53, has been on the BBC show since its first series but has never won.

He has often been paired with the contest’s older, and sometimes less nimble, female stars including Ann Widdecombe and Susannah Constantine.

This series he is paired with EastEnders actress Emma Barton but at the weekend the couple scored 22, and ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Anton Du Beke and Emma Barton
Anton Du Beke and Emma Barton (Guy Levy/BBC)

Speaking on spin-off It Takes Two, Barton admitted she had been “disappointed”, saying: “We wanted to do so much better than that.”

But Du Beke quipped: “I can’t say I’m not used to it. Over the years…!”

“Thank you!” he said, as the audience made sympathetic noises.

The couple avoided elimination during Sunday’s results show, with Viscountess Emma Weymouth and her professional partner Aljaz Skorjanec getting the boot instead.

Du Beke was visibly excited to have made it through, and slid across the dancefloor on his knees.

He told It Takes Two host Zoe Ball: “It was a massive error because when I got there I realised I couldn’t get up unaided…

“Absolute disaster.”