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23/04/2018 09:18 BST | Updated 23/04/2018 09:20 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing' Judge Shirley Ballas Insists Brendan Cole Is An 'Amazing Person' As She Breaks Silence On His Exit

'I’m extremely proud of what he’s achieved both at work and at home.'

Shirley Ballas has remained very diplomatic as she broke her silence on Brendan Cole’s shock exit from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’

The Head Judge has surprisingly called him an “amazing person”, despite rumours of a backstage feud leading to BBC bosses axing him from the line-up of professional dancers. 

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Brendan Cole and Shirley Ballas

Three months on from his sacking, Shirley finally addressed the matter in an interview with Hello magazine

She said: “I don’t have any recollection on a personal level of bridges ever being broken or rebuilt between me and Brendan.

“He is an amazing dancer, an amazing person, whose career I have followed for many, many years and I’m extremely proud of what he’s achieved both at work and at home.”

She added: “One of the things people learn with me is I don’t need to pull someone else down to build myself up and I will live and die by that rule.”

The pair were rumoured to have fallen out backstage following an on-air clash during last year’s series. 

 

While both played down reports at the time, Shirley went on to call Brendan “confrontational”, with Brendan also admitting he thought the run-in could have cost him his job.

Revealing he regretted referring to Shirley as “my dear” live on-air, he told the Daily Mail, he said: “I don’t know if that was handled the right way on air. If you disagree with somebody, which I did that particular day about the way she felt we danced the tango, you have the right to say what I did.

“I didn’t get aggressive. I said: ‘Well, I disagree’ ... Then Bruno stepped in and said his piece, that I should be more respectful, which I still don’t get. But what I certainly regret is saying: ‘I will, my dear.’”

“The phrase ‘my dear’ is patronising and I certainly didn’t mean to be. I’m not a patronising person,” he continued. “But I’d just done a dance live on air with Charlotte, who I really care about. You want the best for her. You want to stay in the show and you know you’re vulnerable because you’re certainly not one of the best couples.”

While Brendan will not be returning for the next series of ‘Strictly’, Shirley all but confirmed she will be back as Head Judge earlier this month. 

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ returns to BBC One in the autumn. 

Read the full interview with Shirley in this week’s Hello magazine, on sale now. 

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