Strictly Come Dancing favourite Brendan Cole was ‘dropped’ after 13 years on the hit BBC show because of his ‘difficult behaviour,’ according to reports.
Brendan 41, revealed on Tuesday that the BBC had made an “editorial decision” not to renew his contract.
A source behind the scenes revealed to the Sun that bosses ‘lost patience with Brendan’s antics’ and are ‘delighted’ to see him go.
The insider also cited Brendan’s ‘huge ego and difficult behaviour’ as reasons for his departure.
Speaking on Tuesday’s Lorraine Kelly show Brendan, who has been on the hit show since it started, admitted he was still finding the news ‘hard to talk about.’
The professional dancer revealed it was not his decision to leave – but believed it could be because he’s a “strong character”.
He told how he’d received the “disappointing” news via a phone call at the end of last week and confessed he was still “in a bit of shock”.
Speaking to Lorraine Kelly, he said: “It’s actually quite hard to talk about.
“The BBC haven’t renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year. They made an editorial decision not to have me on the show.
“I’m in a bit of shock at the moment, I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it.”
Brendan, who has had 15 “incredible” series on the show, revealed he was heartbroken by the shock news.
He also said wife Zoe Hobbs was “upset” for him and he had only told the pros about his exit 10 minutes before appearing on Lorraine.
Revealing how the decision was broken to him, he said: “It’s done via a process of a phone call and stuff. I have had 15 incredible series on the show. I’m very proud of the whole show. It’s a great team.”
He added: “I’m disappointed. It’s very hard to talk about. It’s a recent decision.”
Brendan’s departure means Anton Du Beke is now the only remaining original professional dancer on the show.
It was reported that the dancer clashed with new head judge Shirley Ballas during last year’s series.
Brendan, who was partnered with Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins, is convinced his “strong views” may have played a part in the decision.
Brendan said: “I’ve always known this day would come. To get to this point, the BBC make the decisions year upon year. It’s an editorial decision.
“I’m sure I’ll never know the ins and outs. I’m a very strong character within the show, I have my strong views.”
Of his sometimes argumentative character, Brendan admitted: “Some do [like it] some don’t. I love that side of the show. I like being a character on the show. They look at the show every year, I’ve never been contracted more than one year.”
Brendan admitted that he did want to stay on Strictly and that he will miss being part of the team.
He said: “Yeah [I still wanted to be part of it]. I’ve always said as long as I’ve got a passion for it I want to be there. My passion is still very much there. I’ll miss being part of the team. I’ll miss being a Strictly dancer.
“It’s kind of weird to imagine yourself not having that as your… I do a lot of other things of course, but the main thing I’ve been known for is to be a dancer on Strictly. Very odd to even say this out loud. It feels quite raw.”
Brendan confessed he would have preferred to have made the decision to leave himself rather than being shoved out the door.
He said: “It’s their [the BBC’s] decision, the powers that be within the BBC, they’ll have a vision of the show and I’m not part of the vision, that’s OK. Listen, I accept, you’ve got to accept what decisions are made.
“I would have preferred to have made the decision myself, but maybe I would never have made it because I love being on the show.
“The last five years I haven’t really made much of a noise on the show with my partners, they haven’t been able to do what I’ve wanted to do. No disrespect to them. I haven’t had one of the ones that had a bit of dance experience that you can really challenge.
“So it’s one of those things where you go, I’ve asked this question many times of myself, ‘When do I leave?’ Every year, I’ve gone, ‘I love the show too much’. I love the fact that I’ve been there from the start. I feel like I’ve made a massive difference to the show and to the show that it is today.”
Brendan joked that no one will argue with the judges anymore and he doesn’t know who to “pass the baton” on to.
Speaking of continuing to support the show he said: “I’m a fan of the show. The show comes first. They’ve made the decision, I respect it completely, I don’t like it very much, but I respect it completely and I will still watch the show, I still want to support my friends that are in it.”
Of his future he added: “This is the exciting thing, it’s going to open up many opportunities. I’ve always been, I wouldn’t say tied down to Strictly, that’s the wrong thing to say, but that Strictly takes up such a large chunk of your time – five months of the year the pros are involved […] I’ve had to pass up so many opportunities that have come my way.”
The BBC has been approached for comment.