Strictly Come Dancing professional starts a war of words with the judges

Pro dancer told to be "more respectful" after disagreeing with the judging panel when they criticised his partner

There was very nearly murder on the dancefloor tonight, as Brendan Cole had a war of words with the Strictly judges.

The pro dancer was standing up for his partner, Charlotte Hawkins, when he got caught up in an angry row.

They had danced a tango to a song from Top Gun, with the Aussie dressed as Tom ‘Maverick’ Cruise and the Good Morning Britain newsreader as his love interest.

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Charlotte was battling nerves, after having a “dance disaster” last week, when she made a number of errors during the routine.

And as the judges started to criticise her performance again, Brendan bit back.

Firstly, Darcey Bussell said there was a clear difference in Charlotte’s performance from the previous week, but that she needed to smooth out her transitions so they didn’t look clumsy.

But when head judge Shirley Ballas said that it was “definitely a little bit better” than last week, Brendan cut in to incredulously ask “A little bit?”

Clearly annoyed at being cut off, Shirley replied “Yes, only a little bit better, sorry Brendan” and then went on to say there should be no rise and fall in the tango.

Again, Brendan disagreed with her and told her there was “definitely no rise and fall.”

She told him there was and advised him to watch it back, and he snapped back that he would.

Then it was Bruno Tonioli’s turn to judge and he wasted no time in laying into Brendan over his comments.

“I’m not an expert, I’ve only done about 500 shows,” he said sarcastically.

“But I think she’s right, and you should be more respectful.”

Brendan backed down, admitting he had messed up one of the steps, that he had meant to be respectful and would listen to the judges’ comments.

Strangely, it was Craig Revel Horwood who eased the tension, by praising Charlotte for coming back “amazingly well” after last week’s difficulties and saying she was going in the right direction.

As Brendan and Charlotte chatted with Claudia, he said he would take the judges’ advice to watch it back, but that it had felt “really really good”.

Meanwhile, Charlotte was quite quiet and looked on the verge of tears.

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Even more so when the scores came in – a five from Darcey but fours from everyone else, meaning a very low total of 17.

The Strictly results show is on BBC1 tomorrow at 7.15pm.