Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke has admitted that he will miss the show's retired host Bruce Forsyth "enormously".

Speaking on Lorraine today, the professional dancer admitted that the veteran TV host is his hero and was so long before Strictly began.

"I absolutely love him and I'm thrilled to be able to say that we've become close friends," he said. "I say that from my perspective - he might see it as another story, of course!"

Du Beke also announced that Forsyth has agreed to take part in his new project, celebrating The Great American Songbook.

He said: “He called me a few days ago and said, 'I think I'm going to come along and do a couple of songs', so Brucie is coming along and he's going to do a couple of numbers, so there you are!”

As for the future of Strictly, Du Beke expressed his excitement that Tess Daly will now host the BBC show with Claudia Winkleman.

“Anybody would have loved that job,” he said. “The two girls are going to be great and the great thing about the two girls doing it is that we're familiar with them of course, because they've done it when Bruce has been off, so they're going to be lovely.

”I'm looking forward to it really,” he added. “It should be a great year and I get to dance, which is going to be lovely.”

Lorraine Kelly won’t be featuring on the show any time soon, as she responded emphatically when Du Beke joked that she should be his celebrity partner this year. Laughing, she replied: “Not a chance!”

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.