Former Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole has removed an Instagram post following fan outrage.
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On Friday, the star reposted an image shared by Dr Joseph Mercola that questioned the efficiency of face masks when it comes to slowing the spread of coronavirus.
However, the 44-year-old was met by anger from fans, eventually leading him to take down the post.
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Brendan has since shared a response on social media, defending his right to free speech and also apologising profusely to any followers that he upset, pointing out that this was not his intention.
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Brendan issued an apology on Instagram
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The doting dad wrote: "I have deleted the post that I reposted earlier as I am not in the business of causing offence to people. I am entitled to my opinion on the subject but if I have offended you, for this I am sorry.
"If you are indeed upset by it, I do understand. I will point out that there is plenty of evidence on the contrary and it is up to each of us to believe what we believe. I am doing as I am told and wearing but have the right to protest... or at least I used to!
"We now seem to be living in a world where we are not allowed different views and will simply abuse anyone who thinks differently.
"I will continue to believe in the information from many medical practitioners in the know. I will listen and debate but I will not abuse you for thinking differently.
"My intention was not to offend, simply to have a voice. I wish you all well and hope that the many people whose lives are in ruins because of the various measures put in place will stay strong and somehow recover."
James was quick to reply
Close friend and former Strictly colleague James Jordan was one of the first to comment on Brendan's post, penning a tongue-in-cheek response.
"You're such a trouble maker," the famously outspoken star wrote. "You should try and be more like me mate and not be so opinionated. It's really not a good look. I'm really not one that likes to get involved but felt I needed to say something. I just think you need to calm down. Luv ya."
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