Len Goodman reflects on Brendan Cole’s exit from Strictly Come Dancing

Former head judge is "sad" about Brendan's exit

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Len Goodman has said he hopes his own exit from Strictly Come Dancing didn’t influence the decision to axe pro dancer Brendan Cole.

The 73-year-old announced in 2016 he would be stepping down from his head judge role after being with the show since day one.

Then last week came the shock news that Brendan, who has also been with the show since the start, had been dropped from the programme.

Len is Strictly’s former head judge (Credit: BBC)

In a new interview with Daily Mail, Len said he was “sad” about Brendan’s departure and still couldn’t understand why it had happened.

“You can’t say he didn’t do a great job,” said Len.

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“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.”

Grant Buchanan /
Brendan has been axed from Strictly (Credit: Grant Buchanan /

Len didn’t explain what he meant by the latter comment or why he may think his own exit could have influenced the decision to drop Brendan.

However, it could have been a reference to Len being replaced by new head judge, Shirley Ballas, who famously clashed with Brendan during the last series.

They bickered over the amount of “rise and fall” in Brendan’s tango with Charlotte Hawkins, which saw Shirley advising Brendan to watch the tape back and Brendan snapping: “I will, my dear.”

Shirley and Brendan clashed last series (Credit: BBC)

That remark led fellow judge Bruno Tonioli to advise Brendan to be more respectful of Shirley.

Shirley, however, has said on Twitter Brendan’s exit was nothing to do with her.

Brendan, meanwhile, admitted in an interview with Daily Mail last weekend he regretted using the phrase “my dear”.

He said: “The phrase ‘my dear’ is patronising and I certainly didn’t mean to be. I’m not a patronising person. But you’re on a live TV show and you’re frustrated with the situation.

“So, yes, if I could take that back I would.”

Brendan announced his Strictly exit on Lorraine last week (Credit: ITV)

Brendan revealed his departure from Strictly on ITV’s Lorraine last week.

He told the TV host: “It’s quite, actually, hard to talk about.

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“The BBC haven’t renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year. They’ve made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I’m a little bit in shock. I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it.

“I’m disappointed. It’s very hard to talk about.”

Will you miss Brendan on Strictly? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor

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