After 15 years on the show, Brendan Cole has become a firm favourite amongst the fans of Strictly Come Dancing. But he sparked speculation he is set to leave the BBC programme by delivering a lengthy speech as he and partner Charlotte Hawkins became the third couple to leave the 2017 series on Sunday night. Visibly emotional, the 41-year-old reflected on his time in the competition with Good Morning Britain's Charlotte. "Quite often you stand in this position and you go, 'Hey, it was our time to go', and perhaps today it was our time to go," he said. "Not often you stand here with such sadness and go, 'I'm going to miss this and I'm going to miss hanging out with this girl.' I've had one of the best Strictly's in 15 years and it's hard for me to even say that, and I feel really emotional."
Brendan Cole and Charlotte Hawkins became the third couple to leave Strictly 2017
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to discuss his comments, with one writing: "That sounded like a farewell speech from Brendan." Another agreed, saying: "I hope Brendan will be back next year. He sounded like he could be saying goodbye to the show too. He is my favourite pro x." A third added: "That speech from Brendan makes me think this could be his last Strictly."
A source told the Sun: "He loves being part of the show, but his lack of promotion (to head judge) and clashes with the judges this year have led top bosses to wonder how long he'll stick around for. They don't want him to leave. Deep down, Brendan doesn't want to either – but options are being weighed up." HELLO! Online has contacted a representative for comment.
It comes after Brendan clashed with head judge Shirley Ballas during week three of the competition, when he interrupted her critique to disagree with her comments. "I'm really sorry, there was no rise and fall in there," he told her. "You should play it back Brendan," she replied, to which Brendan answered: "I will, my dear." His remarks led to him being chastised by Shirley's co-judge Bruno Tonioli, who told the dancer: "You should be more respectful."