Brendan Cole slams Strictly bosses for pushing ‘competitive’ image


‘There was very much a narrative that the show went with for 15 series,’ the pro revealed (Picture: WireImage)

Professional dancer, and now Dancing On Ice finalist, Brendan Cole hated being portrayed as ‘competitive’ on Strictly Come Dancing.

The 45-year-old ballroom dancer starred on the BBC show for 15 years, and was crowned a winner in the very first series alongside presenter Natasha Kaplinsky.

He made the final a further two times with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Lisa Snowdon and remained on the programme until 2018.

However, despite being a favourite pro across the series, fans will remember Brendan routinely used to clash with Craig Revel-Horwood, jumping to the defence of his partners when less than favourable criticisms were dished out.

Now, Brendan and his skating partner Vanessa Bauer are preparing for the Dancing On Ice final this Sunday against Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt with skating partner Mark Hanretty, fan favourite Regan Gascoigne (also known as the son of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne) paired with pro skater Karina Manta.

Speaking to MailOnline, Brendan said: ‘I came on the show hoping to show another side to me.

‘Strictly only wanted to show one side to me. And they really pushed that side of me.


Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Frost/ITV/REX/Shutterstock (12835064bd) Brendan Cole and Vanessa Bauer 'Dancing On Ice' TV show, Series 14, Episode 8, Hertfordshire, UK - 06 Mar 2022

Brendan Cole and Vanessa Bauer will be skating their way through the final this Sunday (Picture: Rex Features)

‘There was very much a narrative that the show went with for 15 series.

‘And it was tiring because it was actually not me.’


Television Programme. 'Strictly Come Dancing'. BBC Picture shows: FIONA PHILIPS and her dance partner BRENDAN COLE perform during show 1 of Strictly Come Dancing 15/10/2005.....TX: BBC ONE....Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service. In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicising 'Strictly Come Dancing' and provided the BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

Brendan partnered with Fiona Philips, Lulu and Michelle Williams across Strictly seasons (Picture: BBC)

Brendan hopes that his time on the ice rink will show viewers that there’s much more to him than the character presented on Strictly.

‘As you can see I like a bit of fun. I muck around a lot and that wasn’t shown very often and I think it has been shown more on this show.

‘And I am very pleased for the way it has been for all of us, we have been shown in really lovely lights – which we are. And it has been a really great experience.’


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‘I am not actually fiercely competitive – I am competitive with myself’ (Picture: ITV)

On Strictly, Brendan was often portrayed as ‘fiercely competitive’, however, he now hopes the ITV show has allowed him ‘the chance to show a new side.’

‘I am not actually fiercely competitive – I am competitive with myself.

‘If I get something wrong or I am not where I’m meant to be, I get immensely p***ed off with myself.

‘I am only competitive with myself, if I lose or win it doesn’t matter, but it is always nice to win!’

Dancing On Ice returns on Sunday at 6pm on ITV.

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