Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke will be returning for the new series of the show - despite the fact that his fellow professional dancer Brendan Cole has been dropped by the BBC. The 51-year-old, who has appeared in every single series since 2004, has reportedly renewed his contract for another season. "Brendan is the only major name not returning. Anton will be back again this year," a show source told The Sun. "He is now the only dancer who has been around since the very first series, but he's a big character and the show wouldn't feel the same without him."
Anton du Beke has renewed his Strictly contract
Following the news of Brendan's departure, former head judge Len Goodman said: "I just hope Anton doesn't go the same way. It'd be a bloody tragedy." Both Anton and Brendan were rumoured to be joining the judging panel last year when Len stepped down, but the coveted spot was ultimately given to Shirley Ballas. According to reports, professional dancers are offered contracts on yearly basis, with producers ringing stars to confirm their participation in the upcoming series - usually in June.
On Tuesday, during an appearance on Lorraine, Brendan expressed his sadness over his departure. "It's quite hard to talk about," he said, overcome with emotion. "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."