Has Brendan Cole Been Banned From 'Strictly'? There's More To The Story Than You Might Think
What exactly happened to Brendan Cole? One moment he was one of Strictly Come Dancing's greatest assets, the next he was axed without much explanation at all. He was in the show right from the beginning, showcasing his particular brand of swagger from season one. Throughout the years he was paired up with the likes of Fiona Phillips and Lulu, and managed to score some of the series' highest marks. But why isn't he on the show anymore? The whole situation is a little confusing — was he really just axed, or has Brendan Cole been banned from Strictly?
Cole first confirmed he had been axed from the show back in January. He appeared on ITV's Lorraine, telling the host that he was left "in shock" by the BBC's decision to drop him. He explained, "they made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show". Then in August, things got a whole lot more complicated. The Sun reported that Cole had been banned from the set. A source close to the show told the publication, "Execs know a number of the dancers are still friendly with Brendan so have issued a firm ‘no’ on anyone having ideas that he will come down to the studios on their friends and family lists."
“They don’t want any awkward moments and want the professionals to focus on giving the best they can to the show rather than being distracted by people from the past," the source went on to say. According to The Sun, Cole was originally dropped from the show owing to his feuds with head judge Shirley Ballas. A show insider reportedly told the paper that “He was against Shirley from the start and kept slagging her off behind the scenes," the same source said that “Brendan bragged that she tried it on with him as his teacher years ago," and that "He claimed she once flirted with him. He said she had no idea what she was talking about and constantly questioned her judgement."
However, representatives for Strictly have denied that Cole is banned from set. A spokesperson told Huffington Post UK on Aug. 24 that the claims were untrue, and said, "Brendan is part of the Strictly family, and no one has ever said he can’t be at rehearsals." Strictly pro dancer Neil Jones has also dismissed the reports. Earlier this year in an interview with OK! magazine Jones described the banning rumours as "complete rubbish", and claimed that the show's producers had got in touch with Cole to confirm that he wasn't banned. He told the publication, "The producers have said Brendan can come in any time".
I've reached out to the show for for a definite answer, but haven't heard anything back. In the meantime, considering multiple sources have stated that Cole hasn't been banned from the set, it might just be worth taking their word for it. So, make sure to look out for him in the Strictly audience on Saturday nights.