Following Brendan Cole's shock axe from Strictly Come Dancing in January, fans of the BBC One dance show have been left wondering who will replace the professional dancer in the new series. It has now been reported that the replacement already has close ties to the show, as AJ Pritchard's younger brother Curtis is thought to be taking the 41-year-old's place. According to The Mirror, bosses at Strictly – who had been struggling to find a replacement who is as tall as Brendan who is 6ft 1in – they have now found "the perfect fit" in Curtis – who is 6ft 2in.
Brendan Cole's replacement is Curtis Pritchard - the younger brother of AJ Pritchard
Curtis, 20, impressed bosses at the BBC last year while appearing on Dancing With The Stars Ireland with his dancer girlfriend Emily Barker. Both Curtis and AJ started training as children, attending their parent's dance school, Pritchard's Dance and Fitness Academy in Cheshire. Curtis told The Sun: "I got into dancing through my parents. But what got me seriously into it was when dad would take me to major competitions he judged. Seeing professionals was my biggest inspiration."
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Brendan Cole was axed from Strictly in January
Brendan, meanwhile, was close to tears as he confirmed that he had been axed from Strictly on Lorraine. He said at the time that it was "quite hard to talk about" and that the BBC hadn't renewed his contract after a 15 year stint on the show. Brendan, along with Anton, were the last two remaining dancers who had been on the show since the very beginning. "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," he said.
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The star continued: "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."