I’ve love to sit in Len Goodman’s chair says Strictly’s Brendan Cole ahead of Ipswich show

Brendan Cole, coming to the Ipswich Regent February 10. Photo: Shane Finn

Brendan Cole, coming to the Ipswich Regent February 10. Photo: Shane Finn - Credit: Archant

Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole is coming to the Ipswich Regent. He spills the beans on Craig Revel Horwood, replacing Len Goodman and being a proud father.

Handbags at dawn then beers on the waterfront with Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood. Phot

Handbags at dawn then beers on the waterfront with Strictly Come Dancing's Craig Revel Horwood. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Does anybody see eye to eye with Craig laughs Cole as we discuss him joining Revel Horwood on the Strictly judging panel next year. They didn’t always on Dancing with the Stars New Zealand.

“I love Craig, I love his way on the telly. I don’t always agree with what he says, but at the same time he’s probably the judge I agree with the most on many occasions. We work really well together.”

At the end of the day, it’s an entertainment show?

“And we made good entertainment down in New Zealand, it was handbags at dawn. The very next day we’d be sitting on the waterfront having a beer together and laughing in the sunshine. It was great, it was a beautiful moment, it was like a proper love affair if you like,” laughs a busy as they come Cole, juggling interviews and 20 other balls as he heads to rehearsals for his latest tour All Night Long.

Brendan Cole's latest show is called All Night Long

Brendan Cole's latest show is called All Night Long - Credit: Archant


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He agrees it’d be an interesting dynamic. First he has to get the job. He must be in the running to replace Len Goodman on the hit BBC One show?

“Len is irreplaceable, that’s very important to know about this gig. I’d be honoured to be considered to take his place and I’d love the role, I won’t lie about it. It’s a massive role on the show. But somebody’s going to have to make it their own and get struck in, (set) their own tone.

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“I think I’m the right person for the job. Whether the BBC does or not is a different story, we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully I’m in the running and I’d be chuffed if they’d even consider me.”

Of all the other names in the hat, which must include fellow original pro dancer Anton du Beke, who would Cole recommend if it’s not him?

Brendan Cole loves his Ipswich audiences

Brendan Cole loves his Ipswich audiences - Credit: Archant

“Nobody, just me,” he laughs.

Strictly Come Dancing is one of the Beeb’s flagship shows. He isn’t worried it being snapped up by a rival channel like The Great British Bake Off. He would make a few changes to the format though.

“If I was to do anything I would simplify it, I think it gets too much with all the pro numbers we do and what’s expected of everybody... I’d take some of the elements out, make it a bit more basic but that’s all.”

The celebrity dancers would probably welcome the extra rehearsal time with their pro partners?

Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman. Brendan Cole would love to fill his spot on the

Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman. Brendan Cole would love to fill his spot on the panel. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire - Credit: PA

“Exactly, so it would make for better output but at the same time the producers know what they’re doing. It’s a great show. If you change it, it won’t be the same, so don’t change it until people get tired of it.”

He knows he can’t dance on the show forever, but if it continues we could see his mantle taken up by four-year-old daughter Aurélia.

“She goes to ballet once a week and she shows me what she’s done in the middle of the room when she comes home.”

I can only imagine the other parents and students reactions when he drops her off.

The show is also at the Norwich Theatre Royal February 5. Photo: Trevor Leighton

The show is also at the Norwich Theatre Royal February 5. Photo: Trevor Leighton - Credit: Archant

“Unfortunately I’ve only taken her to class three times. My schedule is quite full on in terms of Strictly and touring... I do know when I went along to their first ballet recital at the end of last year some of the older kids who knew I was in the audience were slightly intimidated. They soon lost their nerves and put on a really good show, it was lovely to see.”

Good practice if he does join the judging panel though.

“Like most dads I want to give my child the world. I think it’s important she tries everything and she wants to go to ballet with her little friends. I love that she’s doing it, but at the same I don’t want her just to be a dancer because daddy’s a dancer. I want her to hold a tennis racquet, to kick a football, love school and just generally experience everything in life and she’ll make her own path.

“I just hope she finds something she’s really excited about like me. I loved building houses, being on a building site every day; that’s what I wanted to do,” adds Cole, whose mum convinced him, his brother and later their sister to try dance.

“It just so happens I followed another dream. Hopefully she’ll find her thing and follow it and be amazing. If she wants to be ballerina, fantastic,” he laughs.

Cole’s three weeks into rehearsals when I catch up with him. Stress aside, he loves how the show’s coming together. All Night Long is his four show and his ninth tour in seven years.

It’s a mammoth production, with the dancers backed by 14 musicians who have played with the likes of Michael Buble and Tom Jones.

“People seem to really love coming back each year, I’m immensely proud of it. I absolutely love Ipswich audiences, the flamboyance. The fact we have a rapport with the audience is quite something, it’s special and I love it.”

He’s chuffed with his new cast, adding what the team’s creating is very different to what’s been done before.

“We start and we don’t stop,” laughs Cole. “You’ve got to have those moments where you can allow the audience to catch their breath. If you’ve got a full-on vibrant number I like to follow it with something really calm and beautiful. I love that about the show, that it chops and changes between the different genres.”

Dancing for live audiences is what Cole does best. He loves that feeling of warmth you get when you come out on stage and do your first number.

“For the Strictly fans, you’re in their living room every week and for whatever reason they love what you do and want to see you do it live. You see them smiling and look at them as you’re performing and it’s just the best thing in the world. There is no feeling like it, it’s the best, I love it.”

Brendan Cole’s All Night Long visits the Ipswich Regent February 10.

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