Post by ManicKangaroo on Feb 2, 2018 4:51:24 GMT 1
The professional dancer Brendan Cole has announced that he has been dropped by the BBC from Strictly Come Dancing.
Cole, who joined the show when it launched in 2004, said he was not part of the vision for the future of the BBC One show and expressed his shock at the decision.
“It’s an editorial decision. I’ll never know the ins and outs,” he said. “I’m a very strong character within the show. I have my strong views. Some do [like it], some don’t.”
The dancer sparred with Strictly judges over the years and clashed with the new head judge, Shirley Ballas, in the most recent series.
A spokesman for Strictly thanked Cole for “being part of the show since the beginning” and contributing to its success.
Cole, 41, won the first series of the contest with the newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky.
On Tuesday, he told the ITV Show Lorraine: “It’s hard to talk about. The BBC haven’t renewed my contract. They made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I’m in shock. I’m quite emotional.”
The New Zealand-born dancer, who is on tour with his musical show All Night Long and awaiting the birth of his second child with the model Zoe Hobbs, said he had not been able make “much of a noise” on the show in the past five years because his partners had not had a lot of dance experience.
He and Anton Du Beke were the only professional dancers from Strictly’s inception to remain on the show. He said he had enjoyed “15 incredible series” but was “very sad to leave, to not be asked back”.
Cole did not mention the judges, but said of the dancers: “I’ll miss my gang, the pros on the show, they’re a phenomenal bunch. I love them to bits.
“They have a vision for the show and I’m not part of that vision. I would have preferred to have made the decision myself, but maybe I would never have made it.”
Last year, the Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli took Cole to task and told him he should be more respectful to Ballas. Ballas and Cole had a prickly exchange following Cole’s tango with Charlotte Hawkins.
He joked: “Nobody will argue with the judges – I don’t know who I’m going to hand the baton to.”
A BBC spokesman said: “We’d like to thank Brendan 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.”