Is this why Brendan Cole was sacked from Strictly Come Dancing?

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Brendan Cole was axed from Strictly Come Dancing after 15 series today.

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

"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.

"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."

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The BBC said in a statement: "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."

Sources have claimed that Brendan's axe followed show bosses getting fed up with his outspoken attitude both on air and in the press.

"Producers were said to be furious over his recent interview, in which he criticised his celebrity partners," an insider alleged to the Daily Mail. "They’ve always tolerated his rows with the judges as it creates drama and acceptable headlines but this was a step too far."

"The producers believe no one is bigger than the show," a second source added.

Brendan's axe has prompted anger from fans, as well as other Strictly stars.

"Just seen my mate @BrendanCole has not been asked back on Strictly," posted former pro James Jordan. "Seems like they don’t want anyone on the show that has an opinion. Especially when he played a massive part in making the show what it is today.

"Wishing him all the best in his future endeavours.

Brendan Cole
Brendan Cole

"Will be missed"

Brendan's exit leaves Anton Du Beke as the last remaining original pro dancer on the show.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One in the autumn.

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