Anton du Beke has revealed he was “stunned” by Strictly Come Dancing’s decision to drop Brendan Cole.
The professional dancer told ITV’s Lorraine on Wednesday he was sad to see Brendan, 41, depart the BBC One dancing show after working alongside him for so many years.
He also described Brendan’s interview with Lorraine last week, where he broke the news, as “one of the saddest things” he’s ever watched.
“I was heartbroken for him,” said Anton.
“And for me a little bit as well, as I’ll miss him enormously – I can’t begin to even tell you.
“There’s something about being with Brendan on the show and having been there since the beginning… there’s only a few of us left.
“I’ve known Brendan for a long time anyway and we’ve been friends for many years.
“Being on the show together was lovely. You have a brother in arms, sort of thing, and it was lovely at the beginning of every year as we’d have a moment together and say congratulations and well done on another series.”
Anton then joked: “It didn’t matter how bad I was, I could never be as bad or as naughty as Brendan! That was part of his character and part of the fun with Brendan.”
Brendan announced on ITV’s Lorraine last week that BBC had chosen not to renew his Strictly Come Dancing contract,
The dancer, who had been with the programme since the first series, was visibly emotional as he broke the news.
“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.
“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.”
In a statement, the BBC said: “We’d like to thank Brendan Cole 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, meanwhile, recently rubbished claims he’d been snubbed by his fellow Strictly dancers, after a report circulated that very few fellow pros had reached out to him.
He tweeted: “Another nonsense story printed today saying that I feel snubbed by my fellow #strictly pros. Couldn’t be further from the truth. All have either messaged or called and some have tweeted. Please stop writing [bleep]! To my fellow pros… thank you!”
And, proving his point, many pro dancers took to Twitter to wish him well.
It’s been reported that Brendan is hugely in demand following his Strictly exit, so it could be a case of ‘when one door shuts, another door opens’.
There have been rumours of a possible judging role on Dancing On Ice, a stint in the I’m A Celebrity jungle, and even a move to LA to join Dancing with the Stars, where ex Strictly judge Len Goodman leads the panel.
Good luck on whatever you do, Brendan!
Do you think Strictly was wrong to axe Brendan? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!