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Arlene Phillips criticises Strictly judges following Brendan Cole's exit

The star shared her thoughts on the decision to axe Brendan on Good Morning Britain

Gemma Strong

Arlene Phillips has criticised the decision to axe Brendan Cole from Strictly Come Dancing. The former Strictly judge shared her thoughts on Brendan's exit during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, appearing alongside his 2017 dance partner Charlotte Hawkins. Arlene admitted she was "shocked" by the news, noting: "If anybody is going to go, it is usually in June". She continued: "He is absolutely a character. A mean, moody character, he is very strong and very tall, he doesn't not look remotely like a dancer and then comes out on the dance floor." Asked by host Piers Morgan if Brendan had been "too hot to handle", she replied: "I think the show needs conflict, excitement and challenges."

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Arlene Phillips spoke about Brendan Cole's shock Strictly exit on Good Morning Britain

Arlene, 74, then addressed speculation that Brendan's dispute with new head judge Shirley Ballas had led to his exit, as a clip was aired showing Brendan arguing with Shirley over his Tango with Charlotte last series. Shirley could be seen telling the 41-year-old there was "too much rise and fall" in the routine, with Bruno Tonioli remarking that Brendan should be "more respectful" to the judge. Commenting on the drama, Arlene said the incident had been "mild" and that the judges had overreacted.

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"Bruno jumping in and saying that's not respectful, what are they? Headmaster and a kin in a school? For goodness sake! It's a professional and celebrity entertainment show." She continued: "Shirley was right to say, 'Let's watch it back, let's look at it together. I don't think Bruno should have jumped in. I think that was ridiculous."

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Brendan has appeared on Strictly since its launch in 2004

Arlene also touched on the fact that Brendan has been on the show since it launched in 2004, along with fellow series original Anton du Beke. She said: "The thing about Anton and Brendan is there are no doubles for them," she continued. "They really are individuals. Brendan has always been the bad boy, always been argumentative, that's part of his trademark."

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