Anton, now the only remaining original professional dancer following Brendan’s departure, claimed seeing his colleague reveal the news on live TV was “one of the saddest things I’ve watched”.
Appearing on ‘Lorraine’ himself, Anton said he was “stunned” by the news, saying: “I was heartbroken for him, for me a little bit as well, I’m going to miss him enormously. I can’t begin to tell you.
“There’s something about being with Brendan on the show and having been there since the beginning – there’s only a few of us left.
“I’ve known Brendan for a long time anyway and we’ve been friends for many, many years and being on the show together was lovely for me. You’ve got a brother-in-arms sort of thing.”
He continued: “It was lovely at the beginning of every year we’d have a moment together and go, ‘Congratulations and well done and on we go another series’. And that was a lovely thing.
“Also, it didn’t matter how bad I was, I could never be quite as bad or naughty as Brendan. He set a slightly naughtier bar - higher than me - and that was part of his character and part of the fun with Brendan. But that is the business we call show.”
Asked if other dancers felt they would now need to be really good in order to be asked back, Anton said: “I don’t think that was anything to do with it. I’m sure it was, as Brendan said, an editorial thing.”
Anton also said he was hopeful he would be back on the show when it returns in the autumn, but admitted negotiations are yet to begin.
“You never can [take it for granted],” he said. “I feel the same every year after the series has finished you do go, ‘OK well we’ll just have to wait now and see’. You can never take anything for granted. We don’t really know what’s going on.
“It sounds so sort of disingenuous, and I don’t mean it to because I’m not trying to do that, it’s the way it works, they call everybody at about the same time and then the discussions start.
“The one thing you do know immediately with a phone call like that is whether you’re not going to be asked to come back - and that’s a phone call you dread and never want.
“To the positive, it’s a sort of a scenario where we get invited to come back and then we go into contractual discussion. So there’s all the technicalities. It is a process. All being well, you don’t get the other phone call. That one you don’t want. No one wants that phone call.”
Questioned on the rumours Brendan will make the leap to ‘Dancing With The Stars’ over in the US Anton added: “He certainly could do it, he’s very able to and he’s a big personality, that’s something he could do, he could have a whizz over there. I think he’d be an asset to any show that he went onto quite frankly.
“I think he’s a fabulous boy, I love him deeply. I think he’s got a great personality. I think if he went over and did ‘Dancing With The Stars’ it’d be the better for it. It’d be interesting how they took to him.”
Anton is just the latest ‘Strictly’ star to speak out about Brendan’s exit, with ‘It Takes Two’ presenter Zoe Ball calling it “the end of an era”, and former pro James Jordan claiming bosses had fired him because dared to have an opinion.
‘Lorraine’ airs weekdays at 8.30am on ITV.