Brendan Cole axed from Strictly by BBC bosses

41-year-old dancer was known for his fiery exchanges with the judges

Brendan Cole
(Image credit: Twitter)

Brendan Cole has announced he is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after 14 years with the show.

He was “one of the only two remaining original professionals, along with Anton Du Beke, and has been part of the show since 2004,” reports the Daily Telegraph.

The dancer revealed during a TV interview that the decision was made by the BBC, saying he was “in shock”.

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“They made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show,” he said on ITV's Lorraine.

A spokesman for the show thanked Cole for “being part of the show since the beginning” and contributing to its success.

The New Zealand-born dancer appeared close to tears as he told Lorraine Kelly: “This is quite hard to talk about. The BBC haven’t renewed my contract – we get renewed year on year – and they made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show.”

The 41-year-old said: “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.

“I’ll miss being a Strictly dancer. It’s kind of weird to imagine yourself not having that as your… I do a lot of other things of course, but the main thing I’ve been known for is to be a dancer on Strictly. Very odd to even say this out loud.”

Cole added that he wishes he had been able to make the decision himself although he doesn’t know he would have ever made it because of his love for the show.

Some Strictly fans condemned the BBC’s decision on Twitter:

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The most recent series saw him paired with Good Morning Britain presenter, Charlotte Hawkins. Cole “defended Hawkins when the judges - especially head judge Shirley Ballas - made comments about her performance,” says the BBC.

“I'm a very strong character within the show, I have my views and I love that side of the show,” he told Lorraine.

“I have always said as long as I've got a passion for it, I want to be there. I want to still be there.”

Former Strictly dancer James Jordan said Cole “will be missed”, adding: “Seems like they don't want anyone on the show that has an opinion.”

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