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Friday 15 March 2024

Interview with Anton Du Beke - Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain

Renowned Strictly Come Dancing stars and inseparable pals, Anton Du Beke and Giovanni Pernice, are set to dazzle audiences once again as they embark on a captivating journey through Spain in their latest travel escapade.

But before that, did you know Anton Du Beke has released a book called The Paris Affair check it out at https://amzn.to/3TDjrkr

In this eagerly anticipated series, titled "Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain," the dynamic duo immerse themselves in the vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes of Anton's ancestral homeland. From bustling city streets to tranquil countryside vistas, they traverse uncharted territories, forging unforgettable memories and encountering a host of colorful characters along the way.

With their trademark charm and infectious enthusiasm, Anton and Gio invite viewers to join them on an unforgettable odyssey, where every twist and turn brings new discoveries and unexpected delights. Whether savoring traditional cuisine, mastering the art of flamenco, or simply soaking in the sun-drenched ambiance, their journey promises to captivate hearts and ignite a sense of wanderlust in audiences worldwide.

"Anton & Giovanni's Adventures in Spain" premieres on iPlayer and BBC One starting Monday, March 18th at 9pm. For those unable to catch it live, all episodes will be conveniently available for streaming on BBC iPlayer from the premiere date onwards. Don't miss the chance to experience the magic of Spain through the eyes of these beloved dance partners turned travel companions.

Tell us about your affinity to Spain. What is the connection?

My mum is Spanish. She came over to the UK, when she was in her early 20s. She comes from Galicia in the north of Spain, in rural Spain. So, it was hard, Franco's Spain, it was hard times, and just to get a better life and get a better job she came over to the UK to be an au pair or a nanny for a family and then went from there.  

So, you're half Spanish?

My mother is Spanish, my father is Hungarian. So, I'm sort of first-generation UK. I was born in the UK. My parents both came from another country during their 20s.

There seems to be an even bigger focus on dancing in this series. Was that intentional? Or did it come naturally?

Well, of course Spain is synonymous with dance with the pasodoble, with the flamenco, with that Mediterranean passion for music and dance and fiesta. It's sort of part of the culture.

We're also treated to some singing from you both whilst in Spain's 'wild west.' Can you tell us more about that experience?

We did a couple of numbers, which was enormous fun and it sort of sums us up really. I thought they were perfect numbers to do because one is called 'Together', it comes from a show and it's a great track, and it was just sort of perfect for us, and 'Me and my Shadow' too. It's just lovely doing these things with Giovanni. I love Giovanni.  

What was the most memorable moment or place you visited?

Well, I have to be honest with you there wasn't a most memorable, it was all extraordinary. I enjoyed the whole thing, from Seville to Bilbao, our little dip into Benidorm was a lot of fun too - I enjoyed that enormously. We did an aqua aerobics class. I mean, it was so up our street really, being with the Brits there in the sun, in the pool and messing about, that's us really. It really was a lot of fun.

Was it nice to show him your heritage after he'd shown you his?

Yes, it was lovely to have a little visit back and it's a long time since I've been back so, that was super. My favourite bit was when the family came out and we all went back together.

What would you say makes a good travel companion? And is Giovanni one?

He is. He's a lovely travel companion and he is the is the best of types because he's got great energy, he's very enthusiastic, a lot of fun and looks gorge. You need energy and fun when you're doing this sort of thing.

And then we went with Gorka up in San Sebastián, which was lovely, it's a long time since I've been up to that part, it was gorgeous! The three hombres together, tres hombres.

Gorka's tour of the Basque country was very food heavy. Any top tapas/food picks from the journey?

San Sebastián is the best place for tapas.

What's your favourite dish if you have one?

It's got to be the Ibérico ham, or Patatas bravas. Croquettes. Muy bien, me gusto mucho.

Your mum and family make a special appearance, how was it to be back in Spain with your mum, in a place that holds so many memories for you?  

Amazing. That was the best bit for me, when we went up to where my mum comes from, and my children and my wife were with me and my mum. Gosh, and I hadn't been back since I was my children's age, well maybe a bit older than that, but I was going there when I was my children's age. So that was that was quite a big moment.

Gio took the reins last time and showed you around his home country, Sicily, how did you find being the one in charge this time around planning this Spanish road trip for your best friend?

Tremendous. I enjoyed it. We would loved to have done more. It was a shame we didn't have more time because there's so much more we wanted to go and see. He was desperate to get to Ibiza, we ended up in Benidorm, it's almost the same.

What do you hope viewers will take from watching Anton and Giovanni's Adventures in Spain?

The closeness of our relationship I think.

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