When Brendan Cole announced last week he’d been dramatically axed from Strictly Come Dancing, it set the rumour mill ablaze with speculation over just what went wrong.
Was it his on-air spat with Shirley Ballas? Or the fact he’d reportedly tried out for her head judge role but not got it?
Well, in a new interview with the Daily Mail, the pro dancer has FINALLY revealed exactly what happened with that head judge job.
Brendan, 41, confirmed he did audition for the vacant head judge role after Len Goodman announced in 2016 that he would be stepping down.
But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
He explained: “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.”
The head judge role eventually went to Shirley Ballas, whom Brendan had a well-documented on-air spat with last series, when they clashed over the amount of “rise and fall” in his tango with celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins.
Naturally, it led to a wave of rumours that Brendan was ‘causing trouble’ and even Shirley’s fellow judge Bruno Tonioli suggested Brendan needed to be more “respectful” towards the newcomer.
However, Brendan told the Daily Mail he’d just been trying to defend Charlotte as he felt she deserved more praise for the dance.
“If I could take that back I would,” he said.
“But the last six months have been pretty horrendous. If I could work it out, I would. All I know is you can’t put a foot wrong. You can’t even dip a toe on the other side within that world because it will be taken, it will be run with, and before long you’re in a [bleep]-storm.”
Brendan used an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine last week to announce he’d been dropped from Strictly after 15 years on air.
He was visibly emotional as he said: “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.
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