Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Neil Jones set to replace Brendan Cole

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 - Professional Dancers

Neil Jones is reportedly set to replace Brendan Cole on Strictly Come Dancing this year.

Neil has been on the show since 2016 but hasn't yet had a celeb partner on the main show.

The Sun reports that this year that will change, as Neil takes Brendan's place on the line up.

A source shared: “Neil has been a choreographer on the show since Katya joined but has always been keen to be partnered with one of the celebrities."

However the insider added that Neil's new role wasn't a done deal just yet.

“Producers are lining him up for a star role. The only thing that could stand in his way is height," they said.

Neil himself previously admitted his shorter stature could be an issue in pairing him with a celebrity.

He told the Radio Times: "Of course Brendan [Cole] left, and we didn't want him to go, but he's six foot something.

"I'm a lot smaller than him, so it now all depends on the celebrities – because Brendan danced with Charlotte [Hawkins] last year and there's no way I would've been able to dance with her because she's taller than me."

Regardless of whether or not he has a celebrity to dance with, Neil says he's happy to be on the show.

He said: "I've been around the show for so long now, if I have a partner – fantastic. If not, it doesn't matter. You know what, I'm still part of the show so that's good."

The 2018 Strictly Come Dancing’s professional dancer line-up for series 16 was announced earlier this year.

Both Brendan Cole and Chloe Hewitt have both left the show while a trio of newbies have joined the show.

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

Chloe Hewitt who joined in 2016 will also be leaving this series.

The BBC said: "The Strictly team would like to thank both of them for their considerable contribution to the show and wish them all the very best for the future."

Following the exits, the BBC have announced a trio of new professionals.

The three new world-class dancers joining the show are Italian Latin Champion Graziano Di Prima, Professional South African Latin Champion Johannes Radebe and four-time winner of the Italian Dance Championship Luba Mushtuk.

The other professional dancers who will be returning to the Strictly ballroom once again are: AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Amy Dowden, Anton Du Beke, Dianne Buswell, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Kevin Clifton, Nadiya Bychkova, Neil Jones, Oti Mabuse and Pasha Kovalev.

Strictly Come Dancing will air on BBC One in the autumn.

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