Celebrities react to Brendan Cole's shock Strictly axe

The Strictly star has left the BBC dance show after 15 series

Following Brendan Cole's shock announcement that he will be leaving Strictly Come Dancing after 15 series, his celebrity friends have taken to Twitter to share their sadness. The professional dancer, 41, appeared on Tuesday's Lorraine to reveal the news, confessing he was "in shock" over the BBC's decision to not welcome him back on the next series. His latest dance partner, Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins, was one of the first to react to the news, telling her followers: "Sad news from my dance partner @BrendanCole this morning that he won't be a part of @bbcstrictly anymore. What an end of an era - he's been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won't be the same without him."

Charlotte Hawkins was one of the first stars to reveal her sadness

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who was Brendan's dance partner in 2013 and finished in fourth place, tweeted: "Sad to hear @BrendanCole now not part of @bbcstrictly Not only a brilliant dancer/choreographer/teacher, it was wonderful to have someone with such experience of the show. It's a wild, wonderful and bonkers environment and he helped me enjoy it and gave others advice too." To which, Charlotte swiftly responded: "I agree @SophieEB xx." Former partner, Kirsty Gallacher, also echoed their thoughts. She wrote: "Sad to hear my great friend @BrendanCole won't be involved in @bbcstrictly anymore. He’s been a huge part of the success of the show and personally I don't think it'll be the same without him."

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Former Strictly professional James Jordan, who was sacked in 2014, hit out at show bosses for axing Brendan. "Just seen my mate @BrendanCole has not been asked back on Strictly," he tweeted. "Seems like they don’t want anyone on the show that has an opinion. Especially when he played a massive part in making the show what it is today. Wishing him all the best in his future endeavours. Will be missed."

Brendan has left the BBC dance show after 15 series

Explaining his departure, Brendan told the chat show host: "It's quite hard to talk about." Overcome with emotion, he explained: "The BBC haven't renewed my contract. We get contracted year upon year. They've made an editorial decision to not have me back on the show. I'm a little bit in shock. I'm quite emotional, a bit raw about it. It's done via a process of a phone call and stuff. I have had 15 incredible series on the show. I'm very proud of the whole show. It's a great team. I'm disappointed. It's very hard to talk about. It's a recent decision."

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The star continued: "I've always known this day would come. To get to this point, the BBC make the decisions year upon year. It's an editorial decision. I'm sure I'll never know the ins and outs. I'm a very strong character within the show, I have my strong views." Of his sometimes argumentative nature, Brendan added: "Some do [like it] some don't. I love that side of the show. I like being a character on the show. They look at the show every year, I've never been contracted more than one year."

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