One of Strictly Come Dancing’s longest-running professional dancers, Brendan Cole, has revealed that he has been dropped from the BBC show, after starring in the programme since its very first series.
41-year-old Brendan announced the news live on Lorraine on Tuesday 30th January, confessing that it is “quite hard to talk about”.
He shared that the BBC had chosen not to renew his contract this year, after 13 years as one of Stricty’s biggest and most popular stars.
In the emotional chat with Lorraine, Brendan explained, “They’ve made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I’m a little bit in shock. I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it.”
Brendan continued, explaining the decision, “I’m disappointed. It’s very hard to talk about. It’s a recent decision.
“I’ve always known this day would come. To get to this point, the BBC make the decisions year upon year. It’s an editorial decision. I’m sure I’ll never know the ins and outs. I’m a very strong character within the show, I have my strong views.”
Brendan shared with Lorraine that the decision to leave was made for him by BBC executives, against his own wishes.
“Yeah [I still wanted to be part of it]. I’ve always said as long as I’ve got a passion for it I want to be there. My passion is still very much there. I’ll miss being part of the team…Very odd to even say this out loud.
“It’s their [the BBC’s] decision, the powers that be within the BBC, they’ll have a vision of the show and I’m not part of the vision, that’s OK. Listen, I accept, you’ve got to accept what decisions are made.”
He continued, “I would have preferred to have made the decision myself, but maybe I would never have made it because I love being on the show.”
During the interview, Brendan also suggested that he would have preferred more experienced celebrity dance partners over the years, sharing that he didn’t get to do things he would have liked with ones he has had.
“The last five years I haven’t really made much of a noise on the show with my partners, they haven’t been able to do what I’ve wanted to do.
“No disrespect to them. I haven’t had one of the ones that had a bit of dance experience that you can really challenge.”
Reflecting on the decision, Brendan concluded that while he was devastated, it may be the push he needed to get out of the Strictly bubble and try other things in his career.
He said, “It’s one of those things where you go, I’ve asked this question many times of myself, ‘When do I leave?’
“Every year, I’ve gone, ‘I love the show too much’. I love the fact that I’ve been there from the start. I feel like I’ve made a massive difference to the show and to the show that it is today.”
Brendan is soon expecting his second child with wife Zoe Hobbs, and sharing her reaction to the news, he said, “She was upset for me.”
He also confessed that he had only just told the professional dancers – including Anton Du Beke, the only other dancer who has been on the show with Brendan since it started in 2004.
(Brendan with his wife and daughter)
“I’ve literally just told the pros about ten minutes ago. I haven’t been able to. I couldn’t get it out there. My heart’s been racing.”
However, dancer Brendan did confess that he would continue to support Strictly, despite no longer being on it himself.
“I’m a fan of the show. The show comes first. They’ve made the decision, I respect it completely, I don’t like it very much, but I respect it completely and I will still watch the show, I still want to support my friends that are in it.”
Fans flocked to social media following the big announcement to share their devastation that Brendan would no longer be strutting his stuff on the ballroom floor.
One fan wrote, ‘So upset to hear Brendan won’t be back! He will be really missed, fab dancer with amazing choreography #strictly”
While another said, ‘Absolutely gutted Brendan is my favourite on strictly, so disappointed’
A third fan also commented, ‘NO, this is so wrong. Love Brendan, he’s always been my favourite. Won’t be the same without him. I’m gutted.’While a fourth wrote, ‘Gutted for you, one of the best on the show!’
During his time on the show, Brendan undeniably courted controversy – most recently, engaging in arguments with new Head Judge Shirley Ballas.
The BBC have issued a statement in response to the news, praising Brendan for his contribution to Strictly‘s success over the years.
They said, ‘We’d like to thank @BrendanCole for being part of the show since the beginning – winner of the first series – and for the contribution he has made to its success. We wish him all the very best for the future.’
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