Strictly 2023 logo with Amanda Abbington

Strictly pro Brendan Cole declares Amanda Abbington controversy has been ‘good’ for the show

It's been a very dramatic series, but viewers have loved it…

Strictly 2023 star Amanda Abbington stunned fans when she dramatically quit – but one pro reckons it’s been a godsend for the series.

Actress Amanda was one of many famous faces taking part in the glitzy show. Partnered up with Giovanni Pernice, the pair were on track to take home the iconic Glitterball trophy. However, in October, Amanda confirmed she had withdrawn from the competition.

And despite the drama it entailed, former pro dancer on the show Brendan Cole has said the “controversy” has helped the 2023 series.

Amanda Abbington and Giovanni Pernice on Strictly
Amanda and Giovanni left Strictly early on this year (Credit: BBC)

Strictly 2023: ‘A show that lives on drama’

Sherlock star Amanda’s Strictly exit was said to be down to “personal reasons”. There have also been ‘feud’ rumours surrounding herself and dance partner Giovanni.

But according to one former pro dancer, the whole drama has helped play into the success of the 2023 series.

Speaking exclusively to Entertainment Daily on behalf of Sky Bingo, Brendan Cole shared his thoughts on the 2023 series.

He said: “It’s been a good series, I think it’s helped to create a little bit of controversy with Amanda [Abbington] leaving, and controversy again with Nigel [Harman] leaving and controversy can be good on a show like this. It’s a show that lives on drama – it’s a dramatic show.”

Brendan, who left the show in 2018, went on: “Moments like these give headlines, the papers love it and online readers love it. They love the drama and this plays into the publicity of the show.

“It’s just a shame for the show and the viewers who have supported Nigel and Katya [Jones] through to this point,” he added.

Strictly pro Brendan Cole
Brendan shared his thoughts on Amanda’s exit (Credit: ITV)

Amanda Abbington ‘snubs’ Strictly finale

While BBC bosses reportedly hoped that Amanda would be able to join the cast in the series finale, Amanda is said to have turned down their invite. This comes amid rumours that she clashed with partner Giovanni.

Last month, asource alleged to The Mirror: “There have understandably been lots of questions asked about Amanda’s sudden departure. That has been difficult – especially for Giovanni, who has been upset about people seeing it as a reflection on him. Though they clashed at times, he genuinely wishes her all the best.”

The source continued, addressing Amanda’s place in the finale: “They wanted to position her as very much part of the Strictly family, but Amanda’s response to the invitation was she’d not be back. It’s a shame, because her exit has been a sour note to the series this year.”

Read more: Strictly pro Brendan Cole convinced Nigel Harman would’ve made the show’s final

YouTube video player

So what do you think of this story? You can leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

Joey Crutchley
Freelance Writer