Brendan Cole has been replaced on Strictly Come Dancing as he tries to recover from a serious lung infection. The 40-year-old star managed to soldier on through his dance with partner Anastacia on Saturday night, despite being rushed to hospital that morning. But he has now been told by doctors to rest until Friday when they will assess whether or not he is fit to perform this weekend.
In the meantime, Gorka Marquez – who was originally partnered with Tameka Empson – has stepped in to rehearse with Anastacia.
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Brendan Cole has been temporarily replaced on Strictly while he recovers from a lung infection
Brendan revealed all during an appearance on Strictly spin-off It Takes Two. "I'll let you into a little secret," he told host Zoe Ball. "We have the lovely Gorka stepping in for me for a few days.
"I don't know how happy I am about it – he's Spanish, he's good looking and has a body which is pretty much the best on the show."
Partner Anastacia then joked that she "hadn't noticed" Gorka's "hot" physique, adding that the practice sessions with him were "awful", before Brendan chipped in: "I kind of have the feeling it's going to go downhill for me from here!"
Gorka Marquez - originally partnered with Tameka Empson - has stepped in to rehearse with Anastacia
A BBC insider also confirmed the news, telling the Mirror: "Brendan has choreographed the routine but is resting until Friday as per doctor's orders. So Gorka will be running the routine with Anastacia in training until then."
Brendan had to be rushed into hospital on Saturday morning after struggling to breathe with a lung infection. But the consummate professional still managed to put in an energetic display as he performed the rumba with Anastacia just a few hours later.
Taking to Twitter to reassure fans, Brendan wrote: "#NHS docs, nurses & staff are phenomenal. Thank you for looking after me in the wee hours. Lung infection under control so thank you.
"…Had to take myself to A&E as I couldn't breathe very well so not enough oxygen getting through. Incredible care, cannot thank enough #NHS.
"… All fine for tonight. Might just be a little coughing and spluttering during our rumba! #Strictly."