Ipswich: The name’s Cole, Brendan Cole

New show Licence To Thrill will soon be tearing up dancefloors across the country, but Brendan Cole has another production pending - the birth of his first child.

“I don’t know what the heck I was thinking timing wise, I don’t make it easy for myself,” laughs the Strictly Come Dancing star.

“Babies... you can plan as much as you like but they come when they come. My wife [model Zoe Hobbs] and I are just so excited about the whole situation. We’ve wanted to start a family for a long time now and finally it’s nearly upon us.”

Is he nervous?

“Nervous would be the wrong word, it’d be more like excited and slightly apprehensive as to what we’ve got in store. Zoe’s going to be a fantastic mum and I’m kind of hoping I’m going to be a fantastic dad. We’re just embracing the situation rather than being scared of it. We’ve got good support around us.”

I caught Brendan a few days after he and celebrity partner Victoria Pendleton left this year’s Strictly.

“It was the end of a pretty good run; I can’t complain too much. I’m only one man,” he laughs.

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“Unfortunately it’s not just a competition, you’ve got to perform, to entertain, it’s one of those things. Eight weeks is pretty respectable, I think we can be quite proud of ourselves. There’s always next year,” he laughs again.

Brendan says it was very important for him to bring his new show back to Ipswich

“It’s a great venue and the support we’ve had from the people so far that have come to see the show... I think we’ve sold three shows there and everyone of them has been very successful.”

Licence To Thrill, a follow up to his debut theatre tour Live and Unjudged, comes to the Regent on February 15.

Boasting a huge live band, two singers and six world class dancers, audiences can expect sophisticated waltzes and foxtrots, fast-paced quicksteps, tangos and American smooths while exciting Latin dances including the cha cha, samba, salsa and jive will have you itching to get up and join in.

Featuring songs by Nat King Cole to Tom Jones, there will be a small James Bond theme.

“One of the big songs is Gladys Knight’s Licence to Kill. Also there will be a dance-off between the males in Live and Let Die which I’m really excited about.

“My dance cast is truly international with a collective CV from competition, theatre, stage and television! I’m very lucky to have a cast that have been in Dancing With The Stars of France, Australia and Mexico as well as stars from the Broadway hit Burn the Floor and, of course, Strictly Come Dancing.”

It includes Brendan’s brother, Scott. The tour wouldn’t be the same without him he adds.

“He shines when he’s on stage, he just loves being out there. I think it’s really nice for the audience who see you on Strictly to get to know a little bit more of the personal you, having my brother there does that. He brings something very unique to the evening.”

From past experience you can expect Scott to share some embarassing stories about his brother, who not only performs but hosts the show throughout.

“There’s’ a lot of chat with the audience. It’s a very intimate evening, hopefully when they leave they can really feel like they were part of a spectacular evening, not [that they] just came along, watchws a show and went home. That’s one of the most important things to me, if the audience are walking out of a theatre glowing with an evening of excitement then you’ve done your job very well.”

Brendan is particularly excited about the addition of his leading lady from France Fauve Hauto, who won the French version of Dancing with the Stars a few days after we spoke.

“I’m exceptionally lucky to have her and I think the audiences are going to absolutely love her. I also have the gorgeous Australian dancer Melanie Hooper returning from last year’s show as well as Germany’s Patrick Helm who I’m sure the ladies will absolutely love.”

This particular show is step up from the last; with ever better dresses, more going on on stage, the set...

“Now I know what I’m doing. The first one was a great success [but] you look at all those little details and go ‘I think I can do that better’. Hopefully we’ll do that. It’ll be much the same as the last one in terms of the format of the show but with new choreography, new dancers,

“I’m very excited. When Strictly came along it opened up a door and it’s an opportunity to take what you do and have people wanting to come and see you do it first-hand and loving it... there’s no better buzz as an entertainer, as a performer. If you want the most fantastic night out, come along to this show for the full shernozzle.”

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