Former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman has revealed he thinks Brendan Cole should be on the show this year. The new series, which launched at the weekend, was the first time Brendan has not appeared on the BBC programme since its inception in 2004. "I think Strictly would have been better with him than without him," Len confessed on Lorraine.
He also opened up about their on-screen debates, saying: "I liked the fact that we clashed. If you're not careful the judges come over like bullies picking on people that can't defend themselves. The celebrities are a bit nervous. So, you need someone. It's nice when the pro says, 'Hold on, I don't think that's quite right.' And gives you a bit back. It all adds to the banter of the thing. Me and Brendan had a few fall outs but we were still good chums."
Brendan Cole joins HELLO! as Strictly columnist:
Len, 74, also insisted he has no regrets leaving the show, saying: "It's a bit like having a girlfriend and you part. It's quite amicable and everything, it's fine. Then suddenly, you see the ex-girlfriend with another geezer and you think, 'Oh no, that what was my girl.' But listen, whatever you do at the time is the right decision and I'm sure I made the right decision. I did twelve years of it, it was fantastic, thank you Strictly for everything." He also praised his replacement Shirley Ballas, who he said has done "a terrific job".
Len also spoke about supporting Remember a Charity Week, an annual awareness week that aims to encourage people to leave a gift to charity in their will. The TV star has previously said: "I feel it's important to leave behind a gift to a charity that you support in order to help them continue their good work once we are gone. Over my lifetime I've seen first-hand the amazing work that charities do, and it would be a shame for them to stop just because we do. I hope that by supporting Remember a Charity Week I can get more people thinking about their legacy, and leaving a gift in their will."
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"I think Strictly would have been better with him than without him," Len confessed
It was confirmed at the start of the year that Brendan's contract had not been renewed this year. The dancer is, however, keeping up with the show and shared his thoughts on this year's line-up in his exclusive HELLO! column. Admitting he was surprised by some of the pairings, Brendan wrote: "Many made sense but with Anton Du Beke and Susannah Constantine – I felt it was way too predictable! It will be fun for a few weeks but I am expecting an early exit for them both. Once again they have given Anton an older contestant – which is a bit boring. I like her banter and think she will be really fun."
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Brendan said Anton Du Beke and Susannah Constantine was "way too predictable"
Brendan added: "I think the couple to watch this year will be Karen Clifton and Charles Venn. Is he single? Because the chemistry is obvious! He has the perfect partner in the show in Karen as what she delivers is amazing. I also love Lee Ryan and Nadiya Bychkova – a perfect match, I predicted that one. As soon as Lee was announced I thought he would get Nadiya. It's headline gold. He's single and tall and she's the hot blonde on the show."
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