Brendan Cole has given his first interview since being axed from BBC dance show Strictly Come Dancing. The 41-year-old dancer revealed all while chatting to the Daily Mail, where he re-told the moment he found out he would no longer participate in the long-running show. He said he had been touring with his dance show All Night Long when he received a call from his agent, followed by the executive producer of Strictly, Louise Rainbow, and the director of BBC Studios, Mark Linsey. He said: "It was a very frank conversation," and that they had told him: "Listen Brendan, we'd like to thank you for your time on the show but we've taken an editorial decision that we won't be renewing your contract next year." The dancer added that he had responded by simply saying: "Okay, thank you. I'm disappointed but I love the show."
Brendan Cole announced his shock Strictly axe on Lorraine
During the chat, Brendan reflected on his relationship with head judge Shirley Ballas, revealing that he had applied for the job as head judge himself. He said: "I'll make no bones about the fact I would have loved that role myself. I didn’t get it. I wasn’t bitter about not getting it. I had a screen test. I walked out thinking I couldn’t have done it better than that, whatever happens, happens. I was disappointed but it was expected because I'm a dancer on the show. That was my job."
Brendan also spoke of the huge amount of support he has since received from fellow Strictly stars. He said that Anton Du Beke, the only other original professional dance partner, was one of the first to message him. Anton texted Brendan on hearing the news, which read: "Oh love. This is bad news. Already this year's show will be less for you not being there. I'm going to miss you, my old love. I can't quite believe it." She also said that Tess had called, while Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman also got in touch. "I hope you're okay. Don’t worry. Bigger and better things will come to you," Len wrote.
Brendan with his last dance partner, Charlotte Hawkins
The news of Brendan's axe was announced on Tuesday's Lorraine in an exclusive chat. "It's quite hard to talk about," the visibly-upset star said. "The BBC haven't renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year. 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. It's done via a process of a phone call and stuff. I have had 15 incredible series on the show. I'm very proud of the whole show. It's a great team. I'm disappointed. It's very hard to talk about. It's a recent decision."