Strictly star Cole left shocked as BBC bosses end con­tract

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

BRENDAN COLE will not be re­turn­ing to Strictly Come

Danc­ing – be­cause bosses have not asked him back.

The pro­fes­sional dancer, who joined the BBC1 show at its in­cep­tion in 2004, said he was in “shock” and “dis­ap­pointed” at the de­ci­sion.

Cole, 41, said: “It’s hard to talk about. The BBC haven’t re­newed my con­tract. They made an editorial de­ci­sion to not have me on the show. I’m quite emo­tional.

“I’m a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed. It’s very hard to talk about. It’s a re­cent de­ci­sion, I’ve al­ways known this day will come ....

“It’s an editorial de­ci­sion. I’m a very strong char­ac­ter within the show, I had my strong views.”

But he said: “I would have pre­ferred to have made the de­ci­sion my­self.”

The New Zealan­der, who clashed with head judge Shirley Bal­las in the last se­ries, has pre­vi­ously said of his fu­ture: “Ev­ery year I have this ar­gu­ment with my­self, do I want to do an­other se­ries?”

He pre­vi­ously said he thinks the pro­fes­sional dancers in the last se­ries were “not al­lowed to have an opinion on any­thing”, and that Bal­las is his “col­league”, not his “su­pe­rior”.

Last year Cole, who was ru­moured to have ap­plied for the head judge role, and his part­ner Char­lotte Hawkins be­came the third cou­ple to leave the se­ries.

Cole said: “The last five years I haven’t re­ally made much of a noise on the show with my part­ners: they haven’t been able to do what I’ve wanted to do.

“No dis­re­spect to them. I haven’t had one of the ones that had a bit of dance ex­pe­ri­ence that you can re­ally chal­lenge.”

Cole’s for­mer Strictly col­league James Jor­dan ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment at the news, tweet­ing: “Seems like they don’t want any­one on the show that has an opinion. Es­pe­cially when he played a mas­sive part in mak­ing the show what it is to­day.”

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.”

BRENDAN COLE: Will not be re­turn­ing to show af­ter BBC failed to re­new his con­tract.

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