Looks like Karen scores a ten to Anton's SEVERRRRN!

Karen Hardy has been tipped to take her seat on the Strictly Come Dancing panel when Len Goodman hangs up his sparkly judging shoes next year.

This year’s series of the hit BBC One show will be head judge Len’s last, with speculation around who will replace him has been suggesting that dancer Anton du Beke was top of Beeb bosses’ hit list – and the bookies agreeing.

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But now it looks like former dancer Karen may pip him to the post after she was announced as a judge on the panel for the show’s 10th anniversary live tour – a move insiders say is to try her out in the judging role.

‘This is a huge statement in favour of Karen,’ a source told The Sun, adding: ‘The tour is massive and she will be in front of thousands of people giving her opinion.

‘Len and Craig will be with her and she obviously knows what she’s talking about with her career as a dancer.

‘The producers want to use this as a trial-run and will give her tips to see if she can handle the role.

‘It’s now not looking food for Anton, but no final decision has been made yet on who will be Len’s replacement.’

Karen, 46, lifted that famous glitterball trophy during her time on the show when she coached cricketer Mark Ramprakash. And anyone who can get a man to do this with his hips is a top hire in our eyes…

GIF Karen Hardy Mark Ramprakash Strictly Come Dancing

She was on the show from 2005 to 2008, after which she left to set up her own dance school. She also regularly appears on spin-off show It Takes Two.

Meanwhile, Anton has never topped the third place title he claimed with Lesley Garett in the very first series of the show back in 2004, but has become a firm fan favourite.