Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole has dismissed reports that there is a feud between himself and Shirley Ballas, but has hit out at the judges’ treatment of his celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins.
Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine, the professional dancer said that he thought the Good Morning Britain presenter had “so much to give” and that it “would’ve been nice” if judges Shirley, Craig Revel Horwood, Darcey Bussell and Bruno Tonioli had cut her some slack.
During his time on Strictly this year, Brendan had a few wars of words with the judges over their comments towards Charlotte, who eventually became the third celebrity to be eliminated from the show.
He also had a spat with Shirley over whether there was rise and fall in his Tango routine – something she said she noticed, while he remained adamant there was none whatsoever in Charlotte’s performance.
“I think the judges were very critical of her even though she didn’t have the background of dance,” he said, adding: “I had to stick up for Charlotte and the stuff that she was getting from the judges, and in particular from Shirley – which is probably where all this nonsense is started.
“I’d do the same again but unfortunately you can’t control adrenaline.”
The ‘nonsense’ in question stems from tabloid reports of a behind-the-scenes feud with the new Strictly Head Judge, with Brendan reportedly ignoring Ballas backstage and “hurling abuse” from the balcony in the Strictly studio.
Brendan rebuffed the reports, stating that he hadn’t even seen Shirley backstage to be able to ignore her.
“Shirley and I go way back,” he said. “I don’t necessarily like what she was doing to us and our little journey on Strictly. The BBC are loving her, some of the fans are loving her, some are hating her.”
On being the bad boy of Strictly, Brendan also said that he does “bring it upon myself.”
“I tend to be a bit more argumentative than the rest of the pros,” he said. “The rest of the pros – they get in the changing room and give it all that. I unfortunately can’t control myself enough to do it in the changing room; I have to do it live on air.”
Asked who he thought would win Strictly this year, he said he believed Aston Merrygold was a strong contender before he was shockingly knocked out of the competition.
Brendan also revealed that he would like to see Davood Ghadami make the final of the competition, “pushing” the celebrities like Debbie McGee and Alexandra Burke who already have dance experience.