He was Strictly Come Dancing’s first winner with Natasha Kaplinsky in 2004 and has been a favourite on the show ever since – and Brendan Cole doesn’t has a simple message for professionals or contestants not happy with the show: “if you don’t like it, get out”.

This last series had its share of controversies with both contestant Jamelia and dancer Ola Jordan publicly airing gripes.

Speaking to us ahead of his theatre tour, A Night to Remember, Brendan said: “Whether things go on or not is not for me to call.

He added: “It is not first past the post – dancing is speculative. Not everybody is going to like the same painting, not everybody is going to like the same dancing.

“Your job as a professional dancer is to make the most of it, whether it be a brilliant celebrity or a not-so-brilliant celebrity and see what you can do with it.

“What happens outside of that is outside of your control. And if something is outside of your control you can try and change it. If you can’t change it and you’re still not happy, then get out.

“I don’t really have a problem with the show.”

Indeed, like many of the dancers who have been a part of the show, Strictly has allowed Brendan to spread his wings with tours like the one he is currently performing.

He said: “It is a phenomenal part of your life. People know the show, they love the show.

“To be a part of that and to be in people’s living rooms every Saturday for three months of the year is a massive thing.”

The 39-year-old Kiwi is well aware that most of the people buying tickets for A Night to Remember will be fans of the BBC show.

It is a wide-ranging audience from kids up to their grandparents and Brendan is determined to give them a, well, night to remember.

He said: “I want every single one of those people – male or female, young or old – to have a phenomenal night so every ounce of creativity is going to go into making it a really special evening, from the music to the dances we perform, the choreography and even to the pyrotechnics.

“People are coming along to be entertained. I want them to be thoroughly entertained. It has to be the best evening they can possibly have.”

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As well as Brendan, who performs and hosts the evening with plenty of chat and Strictly gossip, the tour features a 14-strong orchestra and eight dancers all on stage at the same time, with plenty of costume changes.

The music ranges from showtunes to eighties and nineties and contemporary numbers while the dance encompasses everything from Strictly – from ballroom to Latin – and then some.

Brendan said: “I really want it to be a night where people will walk out of the theatre with a massive smile on their face thinking ‘I have just been a part of something that is a big evening’.

“I really want to create a special evening.”

Brendan Cole’s A Night to Remember is at New Wimbledon Theatre on Saturday (February 13), the Churchill Theatre in Bromley on Sunday (February 14), Fairfield Halls in Croydon on March 2 and the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on March 30. Go to brendancole.com

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