Strictly no return for Brendan, but will the jungle now come calling for the pro dancer?

Strictly no return for Brendan, but will the jungle now come calling for the pro dancer?

Brendan Cole choked back tears as he revealed he has been dropped from the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. 

The professional dancer, who is expecting his second child and joined the show at its launch in 2004, said he was not part of the “vision” for the future of the BBC show. He told a friend: “I have been offered the jungle which is nice, and a book deal, but right now I am focusing on my show which is touring next month. After that, who knows?”

Former Strictly judge Arlene Philips said she was “completely shocked” that Brendan Cole was dropped from the show. She revealed: “I do worry about the show, as he was a very popular dancer, but it’s out of your hands when they want to replace you. I should know.” 

BBC news presenter Nick Robinson tells me that he manages to escape being noticed simply by taking off his famous black glasses. “Once I pop them back on everyone knows it’s me, so it’s a great trick when I want to be left alone,” he said.

Cheryl Baker, Jake Quickenden and Max Evans will hit the road – and the rink – when Dancing on Ice heads out on a live tour in March. Cheryl, now back performing with The Fizz, told me: “At the start I thought I would never make it, but now I am actually enjoying it all, so I said yes to the tour. Am I mad?”

Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins was always hoping to make it as an actress, and that was part of why she slipped so easily into the glamorous world of Strictly Come Dancing, but she admitted: “Once the show has ended the glamour goes, and it’s back to the day job of reading the news, which is nice, but there’s no sequins...”

Coronation Street actress Georgia Taylor, who plays Toyah in the soap, tells me she is stunned at how easy it was to play her character again after years away. “I thought it may take some time, but it didn’t at all, which makes you wonder if it’s me I am playing or simply a heightened version of me at times...”

Strictly star and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls is trying his luck at TV again, this time with fronting a three-part documentary series called ‘Ed Balls: My Deep South Road Trip’, where the ex-MP will embed himself with Donald Trump supporters in the southern states. He reveals: “It’s been a lot of fun, and at times shocking, but always good viewing I hope.”

Oh dear. Wedding Day Winners, presented by Lorraine Kelly and comedian Rob Beckett, won’t be back for a second series, I can reveal. The BBC claim they are “reviewing the situation” but ratings mean it’s too expensive to return for another series. Back to daytime then, Lorraine...

Coronation Street favourite Martin Platt is rumoured to be returning to the cobbles as part of son David’s rape storyline. Actor Sean Wilson played Martin Platt between 1985 and 2005 before clashing with bosses over a controversial storyline. He vowed never to return, so I guess the bosses offered him a hefty wage packet.

Fans who enjoy Suranne Jones’ role as the vengeful wife in Doctor Foster will be delighted to learn that the drama will be back for a third series – although not for at least another year. She told me: “I love the show, but as yet I have made no commitment, but I do know fans would love to see her back.”

Emmerdale actress Emily Head, who plays Rebecca in the soap, tells me she won’t get such a juicy role again for a long time. She said: “I think it’s been brilliant as it’s covered so much and she has done some terrible things, but people seem to love her for it. I won’t get a Rebecca again I don’t think, but I can hope.”

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