Strictly Come Dancing

Interview with Strictly’s Brendan Cole

Cole Lotta Love: Exposed Meets Brendan Cole.

Strictly Come Dancing favourite, ladies’ man and all round entertainer – Brendan Cole is a pretty busy fella. Not only has he just finished his 12th year as a dance partner on Strictly, he’s also heading up a pretty big show of his own next month. Exposed caught up with Brendan to chat about it.

Hiya Brendan, how are you doing today?

I’m doing pretty well thanks! Very busy and all that but feeling good.

Glad to hear it! Happy New Year by the way! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?

Thanks, you too! I’m not really a New Year’s Resolution kinda’ person, to be honest with you. I’m more of a ‘if you want to do it, just do it’ type person. If I feel I’m eating too much I’ll just start eating less, or if something needs to change I’ll change it there and then, I don’t need to wait until January 1st to do so!

Good attitude. Let’s move on to Strictly. Your partner Sunetra Sarker made amazing progress on the show!

I’ve got to say she really, really surprised me. Luckily, Sunetra was a very quick learner with a lot of natural ability, so it didn’t take much to whip her into shape! Sometimes you can spend hours with someone trying to teach them something and it’ll take ages for them to pick it up. I didn’t have that with Sunetra, we just built on her strengths.

So who would your dream celebrity dance partner be?

Ooh, that’s a difficult one! I have to say, last year Sophie-Ellis Bextor was an absolute dream to work with. We had a really great time on the show together and did very well in the competition – so in some ways she was my dream partner. I also loved working with Kelly Brook, and although she wasn’t the most talented dancer; Jo Wood. She was so much fun. It’s about being able to get along well as well as dance ability, because obviously you end up spending a lot of time together.

Let’s move onto your upcoming show A Night To Remember. The show is hitting Sheffield February 4. What can the people of Sheffield expect from it?

Everything! Although it’s not a Strictly show, it is Strictly based to an extent, so those who love Strictly will definitely love it. It will be very intimate, so think of it as being like ‘An Audience with Brendan Cole’. It will be bigger and better than everything else I’ve done, I’ve got 8 dance acts and lots of musicians – it’s going to be full-on variety.

Your previous shows Unjudged and License to Thrill were both very well received by critics. Is there more pressure this time around for the show to live up to its predecessors?

There’s more pressure for myself. I’m quite proud and like to put everything together myself. This isn’t a show where a production company has done everything and I’ve just signed my name to it. I’m very involved in all aspects – including hand picking the dancers and musicians. With the music, I’ve selected a mix of tracks due to the vast age of the audience. There will be young people, grandmas and granddads and everything in between, so you’ve got to pick music that will appeal to all these people.

Speaking of dancers, you’ve got French Dancing With The Stars champion Fauve Hautot and German dancer Patrick Helm joining you. Are there any special qualities you look for in your supporting dancers?

There is. They have to be incredible. There’s little point in having a beautiful woman who can’t Waltz just as beautifully! As well as exquisite dance ability, they have to have star quality, and they need to be able to hold the stage on their own. I’ve got such a diverse mix of dancers. There’s Fauve who is ridiculously famous in France, she really has that star quality where she just demands attention whilst on stage. Audiences are really drawn to her. Then I’ve got Kai Widdrington who’s just fantastic and, bloody hell, he’s so endearing! Presence is everything!

Great stuff! So, the show’s taking place just prior to Valentine’s Day… are you a romantic person?

I’m definitely a romantic person! I don’t always get it right, though! But yes, before I go away, I like to leave little notes around the house to my wife Zoe so she knows I’m thinking of her. It sounds a bit soppy, I know! I do like romance.

Very sweet! So previously you’ve taken part in reality shows, such as Love Island in 2006. Would you consider taking part in reality TV again?

Never say never. At the moment, I’m happy on Strictly Come Dancing. It’s arguably the best reality TV show on right now – and I’m in no rush to leave. Love Island was a great experience – so I’m not reluctant to try reality TV again! I’d like to go into the jungle though. I bet that’d be a great experience.

Finally then, what are the plans for after the tour?

Well, it’s a long one! I’m always busy with Strictly from August to December, and then I’ve got two weeks off, then I’m on the tour – so April to July is my family time. We’ll usually go on holiday around that time as well. I also keep busy with my dance academies too. I’m always busy!

Catch Brendan Cole in A Night To Remember at Sheffield City Hall on February 4. See for more.

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