Strictly judge Shirley Ballas denies rift with ‘amazing’ dancer Brendan Cole

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has denied ever falling out with dancer Brendan Cole, even praising him as “amazing”.

Ballas, 57, and Cole clashed in the last series of the BBC One show over his tango with Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins.

Then in January, New Zealand-born Cole, 41, revealed he was leaving the show as the Beeb had decided not to renew his contract.

But head judge Ballas said: “I don’t have any ­recollection 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.

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


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

“There has been no face-to-face confrontation and all I can say is I wish him, his wife and their two beautiful children well because, whatever he does next, I know he will bring 100% to his role.”

The ballroom dancing champion said she would like to return to the series this year but that nothing was decided.

During a photo shoot at her Los Angeles home, she told Hello! magazine: “I hope to be back, I’d like to, but as yet nothing’s official.

“My critiques will always remain firm. I will say it as I see it, though you can’t help but get emotionally attached to the couples.”

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