09/02/2018 10:30 GMT

'Strictly Come Dancing': Len Goodman Hopes Brendan Cole's Exit Wasn't Indirectly His Fault

'I just hope Anton Du Beke doesn't go the same way.'

Former ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ judge Len Goodman has expressed his disappointment that professional dancer Brendan Cole has been let go from the show.

Len and Brendan worked together on ‘Strictly’ for 14 series, both appearing on the hit BBC show since its inception, until Len announced he was quitting his Head Judge role in 2016.

Following the news Brendan had been axed from the show ahead of this year’s series, Len has said he hopes he wasn’t indirectly responsible for his exit, as well as sharing his concerns for Anton Du Beke.

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Len Goodman

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Len said: I’m so sad; I don’t understand why.

“You can’t say he didn’t do a great job. He did and there was always a bit of an edge with him: the bad boy of ballroom. He didn’t mind answering you back.

Len added: “I hope me leaving didn’t cause it and I just hope Anton doesn’t go the same way. It’d be a bloody tragedy - he’s got so much character.

“[Anton is] terrific for the show. But there always has been egos with the professionals and it was the same when I danced, with anything competitive.”

After Len said farewell to ‘Strictly’ in 2016, he was replaced by new Head Judge Shirley Ballas, who famously clashed with Brendan on several occasions during last year’s series. 

She later branded him “confrontational” and compared him unfavourably to the other more “respectful” members of the team.

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Brendan Cole

Announcing his departure during an appearance on ‘Lorraine’ last month, Brendan said: “The BBC haven’t renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year. They’ve made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show.

“I’m a little bit in shock. I’m quite emotional, a bit raw about it... it’s very hard to talk about.”

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