The show’s ‘Mr Outspoken’ tells us about his new tour and explains why he just can’t keep quiet

As the professional dancer not afraid to stand his ground with the Strictly Come Dancing judges, Brendan Cole is the person we’d want on our side.

Honest and funny, he’s wowed us since the show began back in 2004. Now he’s raring to go with his own nationwide tour – Brendan Cole: All Night Long.

The popular performer, 41, lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Zoe, 36, and their five-year-old, Aurelia. The couple are expecting their second child in February. Here, Brendan lifts the lid on his favourite dance partners and his talented daughter…

“Some people love the fact that I speak my mind and some hate it. You’re never going to please everybody – I’m very much Marmite. I’m quite happy to have critique, but I don’t necessarily like critique unless it’s constructive. If it’s just for the sake of it then I find it infuriating and I’m the one who will speak his mind on the show.

“If I don’t feel something is right, I have to say so. I won’t always be right – I hold my hands up when I’m wrong – but I’m happy to say that with most of the arguing I did on this series, I was justified in doing so.

Brendan also lifted the lid on his brand new tour…

“There are a lot of Strictly shows out there and I want mine to be the best. Back in the day it was just Anton Du Beke, myself and the Strictly tour, but now there’s a lot of choice. Everyone will always have their favourites, but I don’t want to be in the middle of the pack with an average show.

“My tour is called Brendan Cole: All Night Long and the best way to describe it is like ‘An evening with…’. Strictly fans expect a lot these days, so it’s important to have a massive production – there’s 21 performers, music, dance, comedy and chat, plus anecdotes from Strictly – an insight into the stuff people don’t get to see on screen.

“I also play the guitar. I’m really chuffed with it.”

Five years ago, Brendan welcomed a little girl with his wife Zoe – and the pair now have another one on the way.

“I still enjoy going out and I still hang out with lots of pretty women – it’s a perk of the job! But life is definitely different now I’m a husband and a father.

“Would I change it? Occasionally I wouldn’t mind going back to the old days of having nights out with the boys with no responsibility, but ultimately we have responsibility because we want it and I have a nice life.

“My daughter is five and my second child is due in the middle of my tour, so I might be dashing off stage!

“I would love to be a judge on Strictly. Anton and I were both in the mix for the job, but they went with Shirley [Ballas]. That’s the nature of the beast. I love the judging role. I did it on the New Zealand version for five years. It’s a great position and a natural step on the Strictly ladder. If it’s something they considered me for in the future, that would be amazing.”

So if Brendan weren’t a dancer – what would he prefer to do?

“Beyond dancing, I would like to develop property. I used to build houses and both my wife and I have a shared interest in it. It’s speculative, because you’ve no idea whether it’s going to work or not, but hopefully one day, when I don’t want to dance any more, that will be on the cards.

“My daughter is a little mover – she’s inherited my genes. We all say our kids are special, but I certainly see that she’s got talent, which is lovely. She goes to a couple of little dancing classes. They skip around, but if her friend is there, they just muck about – like her dad, she’s mischievous!

“I loved being a part of Strictly this series. Some years are better than others, but it was a ball dancing with lovely Charlotte [Hawkins]. She was a great partner and I’ll stay friends forever with her and her husband. I enjoyed the pro dances too and I enjoyed dancing with one of the new girls, Nadiya Bychkova. She’s a great dancer, so that was really fun.

“Sometimes, you don’t gel with your dance partner. It’s been 50/50 over the years on Strictly. I got on really well with Charlotte this series and there have been a few others – Kelly Brook, Lisa Snowdon, Jo Wood and Victoria Pendleton. I’ve stayed friends with quite a few but then there are a few I’d happily never see again!”

Brendan Cole: All Night Long tours the UK and Ireland until 31 March 2018. Visit brendancolelive.com for tickets and find details on Twitter @BrendanColeLive and Facebook @BrendanColeTour.

Will you be heading to see the show?