Len Goodman backs Brendan Cole after Strictly Come Dancing axe

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Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has defended Brendan Cole.

Brendan had been a pro dancer on the show for the past 14 years but announced his exit on ITV's Lorraine earlier this year.


New Zealand born Brendan announced that the BBC had decided not to renew his contract.

"They've made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show," he said. "I'm in shock. I got a phone call. I've had 15 incredible series."

Brendan admitted: "I'm disappointed. I've always known this day would come. I'm a very strong character, some don't like that.

brendan cole

"I've never been contracted for more than one year. I still wanted to be part of it. My passion is still very much there."

Now Strictly's former head judge Len has spoke up to give Brendan his backing.


He said of Brendan's outspoken attitude: "I always thought the pros should defend their celebrities. If you're not careful, you can come across as a bit of a bully, picking on people that can't defend themselves.

"So I think it's admirable to say, 'I can't agree with you on that'. Maybe he went a tad over the top with it, but no, I think it's good that the pros defend their partners."

Len added in a chat on ITV's Good Morning Britain: "Listen, I've not spoken to Brendan, I've not spoken to Shirley [Ballas] and I've not spoken to the BBC about it.

"I only know what we all know."

Len, who left the BBC series in 2016 previously said he was "sad" to see Brendan leave.

He explained: "You can't say he didn't do a great job. He did and there was always a bit of an edge with him: the bad boy of ballroom - he didn't mind answering you back.

"I hope me leaving didn't cause it and I just hope Anton doesn't go the same way. It'd be a bloody tragedy - he's got so much character."

Len added: "He's terrific for the show. But there always has been egos with the professionals and it was the same when I danced, with anything competitive."


Meanwhile, Len called on the BBC to hire more British dancers for its pro line up.

He told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I think all those pros are brilliant but I do like that you've got Kevin from Grimsby, and Anton from up the road.

len goodman shirley ballas

"You don't want to end up with a load of people from... you know... as good as they are. It's nice to have some British dancers in there."


Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.

Shirley Ballas, who replaced Len last year, is expected to return for her second series as head judge.

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