During an appearance on ITV's Lorraine yesterday Brendan Cole revealed he will not be returning to Strictly Come Dancing in a shock decision made by the show's editors. Having performed on the TV show for 15 series, Cole was one of the original professional dancers on the show when it first launched in 2004.
The 41-year-old is currently on tour with his musical show All Night Long which stops off at Symphony Hall in March. Although clearly devastated at the BBC's decision, Cole commented that his exit would at least give him time to concentrate on other projects.
I'm quite emotional and a bit raw about it. I am very disappointed. It's an editorial decision. I will never know the ins and outs...I have had 15 incredible series on the show, I'm very proud of the whole show, they're a great teamBrendon Cole
Unsurprisingly the news has come as a huge shock for Strictly fans, many believing Cole to be one of the reasons for the show's huge success. Charlotte Hawkins, Brendon's dance partner in the 2017 series, and former Strictly dancer James Jordan took to Twitter to show their support.
A spokesman for the BBC 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."
Strictly fans need not despair for long as they can still catch Brendon's show All Night Long at Symphony Hall this March.