Brendan Cole has revealed the truth about his exit from Strictly Come Dancing.
Brendan had been a pro dancer on the show for the past 14 years but announced his exit this week on ITV's Lorraine.
Speaking about leaving Strictly this week, Brendan said: "They've made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show. 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."
Now in a new interview, Brendan has opened up about his departure and his feelings of "sadness" following the decision.
Explaining how he had a phone call from Strictly's producers and BBC bosses, Brendan said: "I loved being a pro on Strictly. I loved the fact I was there from the beginning. One of the saddest bits is that it will go on and I won’t be a part of it. It’s like not being invited to the party. You know they’re having a good time and you want to be a part of it."
On revealing the news to the public, Brendan continued: "The interview I did on Lorraine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
"Bear in mind, I hadn’t told anybody except my wife. But I wanted to have control of the situation because I am a control freak. I wanted to be the one to tell the people who like watching me dance. I didn’t want them to hear it through a tweet."
He added: "The BBC would have been happy if I’d said I’d wanted to leave the show and have my pride intact. But that’s not me. I don’t lie. I’m definitely upset. This is not something I wanted. I thought I had a few more years in me. I wasn’t ready to hang up the old dancing shoes."
Although publicly many Strictly stars have kept quiet about Brendan's exit, he says they've been in touch privately, including host Tess Daly.
Brendan spilled to the Daily Mail newspaper: "She told me: 'I can’t believe I’ve heard this news'. She was really gutted. Tess and I go way back. We’ve been close for years.
"‘There have been hundreds and hundreds of texts. As soon as I came off air, the phone was going all day. That’s the bit that’s made me feel as good as I do."
As for why the decision was taken, Brendan's clash with new judge Shirley Ballas is said to have been one of the reasons the 'Ballroom bad boy' got the axe.
Reflecting on his on air row with Len Goodman's replacement, Brendan admitted "if I could take that back I would."
He explained: "Your adrenalin’s going. You’re at a heightened point of your emotions. Twenty minutes later you’d handle things very differently.
"But I’d just done a dance live on air with Charlotte, who I really care about. You want the best for her. You want to stay in the show and you know you’re vulnerable because you’re certainly not one of the best couples."
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.