Brendan Cole

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For the Australian hurdler, see Brendan Cole (athlete).
Brendan Cole
Born (1976-04-23) 23 April 1976 (age 39)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Residence Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
Nationality New Zealand
Occupation Dancer, choreographer, actor
Television Strictly Come Dancing
Dancing with the Stars
Spouse(s) Zoe Hobbs (m. 2010)
Children 1

Brendan Cole (born 23 April 1976) is a ballroom dancer specialising in Latin American dancing. He is most famous for appearing on the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing, a dance contest in which a professional ballroom dancer is partnered with a celebrity amateur dancer. He has also judged New Zealand's own version of the show, Dancing with the Stars.

Early life and career[edit]

Cole was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has danced since he was six, and moved to the United Kingdom when he was eighteen. Before becoming a professional dancer Cole was a builder and roof layer, having left school at 17.

He danced with Camilla Dallerup, a fellow contestant on the BBC's earlier long-running show Come Dancing, as amateurs from 1996, and from 2002-2004 as professionals. They competed for New Zealand: Camilla Dallerup is Danish-born. In 2003 Dallerup and Cole were placed 3rd for Latin American at the UK Closed Championships.

In the winter of 2004 he had his first acting experience featuring in the UK feature film Everything To Dance For alongside Sasha Jackson, Travis Oliver and Sally Reeve.

In October 2009 Cole appeared on the New Zealand travel show Intrepid Journeys. During a hunting lesson filmed in Vanuatu he was shown killing and eating a chicken, prompting international news coverage.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Before he danced with Natasha Kaplinsky, in the first series of Strictly Come Dancing, Camilla and Brendan were engaged, but she broke it off, claiming, "I'd been with Brendan almost every day, all the time, for more than eight years and then he changed overnight. I think he was starstruck ... everything changed because of her (Natasha Kaplinsky)."[citation needed]

Brendan's previous relationships have included Shelly Ross, Abi Titmuss, Lady Victoria Hervey, Martine McCutcheon, Adele Silva and Emma Gray.[citation needed]

He is now married to Zoe Hobbs, a British model, [2] who gave birth to their first child, a baby girl Aurelia, on Christmas Day 2012.

Cole lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Televised competitions[edit]

In summer 2006, he joined ITV's Love Island and became the runner-up when the show ended on August 28, 2006. Also in that year, he appeared as guest judge on fourth episode of Britain's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 where he worked with the remaining 10 contestants to teach ballroom dancing prior to judging.

In January 2007, Cole appeared on the BBC's duet show Just the Two of Us as a celebrity, with Beverley Knight as his professional partner. They came second.

Brendan represented the United Kingdom at the first Eurovision Dance Contest in September 2007. His dance partner was Camilla Dallerup. The couple were highly praised by British judges yet only managed to finish fifteenth out of the sixteen entrants.

In 2010 he was a celebrity guest team captain on What Do Kids Know? along with Rufus Hound, Joe Swash and Sara Cox on Watch.

Dancing with the Stars (NZ)[edit]

Cole has judged New Zealand's version of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, 2005–2009. In the years when Craig Revel Horwood was one of the other judges the two men's opinions and scores were frequently markedly different.

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

Cole has appeared on all eleven series to date of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing. Particularly in the third, fourth and fifth series, he has often clashed with the judges over their scoring and comments on his performances. He has on occasion deliberately broken the rules by incorporating illegal lifts into his choreography, and as a result has often been dubbed the "bad boy of Strictly". Although he is nominally a Latin specialist, he is regarded by many as the best in the show at the ballroom dances, particularly when he partnered Lisa Snowdon on the sixth series in 2008.

In the first and his debut series on Strictly Come Dancing, Brendan's celebrity partner was revealed as BBC newsreader and presenter, Natasha Kaplinsky. After a series of top scores upon the leaderboard, he and Kaplinsky ended up winning the show, and becoming the first ever champions. However, their pairing on the series was controversial when his then-fiancee, Camilla Dallerup had broke their engagement off because of Kaplinsky. In the second series, he was partnered with Casualty actress Sarah Manners. However, they became the fifth couple to leave the competition, on week 5. Cole was then paired up with GMTV presenter and newsreader, Fiona Phillips for series 3. Due to shockingly low scores from the judges and fewest combined votes from the public, he and Phillips were eliminated during the fourth week, leaving in ninth place. Brendan returned to compete on the fourth series in 2006, partnered up with actress Claire King. Cole & King were the ninth couple to be eliminated, and were sixth overall. In the fifth series of the show, Brendan's partner was revealed to be model, actress and television presenter, Kelly Brook. Despite reaching week 9 and also, top of the leaderboard twice, Brook announced that she would withdrew from the competition, following the sudden death of her father earlier that week. This event left them in sixth place.

For the sixth series in September 2008, Cole's celebrity dance partner was announced as television and radio presenter, Lisa Snowdon. Despite receiving high praise from the judges, second on the series' average chart and reaching top of the leaderboard, he and Snowdon became finalists, and were eliminated in third place, having lost out to Rachel Stevens and eventual winner Tom Chambers. This became Cole's second time, reaching the finals of the competition. Following into the seventh series, Cole partnered up with businesswoman and media personality Jo Wood. Since there were twice as many contestants, Wood and Cole didn't get to perform until week 2. They were eliminated on week 6, leaving in eleventh place. At the beginning of the eighth series in 2010, he was announced to be partnered up with American singer & stage actress, Michelle Williams, famed for being a member of the best-selling girl group Destiny's Child. Despite being in the bottom two three times and variable scores given throughout, she and Cole were eliminated in the seventh week of competition, positioning in ninth place. For the ninth series, Cole was announced to be paired with singer-songwriter Lulu. After surviving five weeks during the competition's run, he and Lulu were eliminated on the sixth week results show, and immediately held the position of tenth place.

Brendan was announced to return as a professional dancer once again for the tenth series. On the launch show in September 2012, he was partnered up with London Olympic track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton. Together, they competed against another London Olympic athlete, Louis Smith and Flavia Cacace, who eventually were declared the champions of the series. The couple were eliminated on the eighth week of competition, surprisingly landing in eighth place. In June 2013, it was publicly announced that Cole would return again to compete as a professional on the eleventh series of the show. On the launch show in September, he was partnered with singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor. He and Ellis-Bextor successfully reached to the all-female celebrity final, making it Brendan's third time as a finalist. However, the couple received the fewest public votes and therefore, were eliminated into fourth place. It was officially announced by the BBC that Brendan would be returning for the twelfth series to compete again as one of the male professional dancers, where he became the dance partner of Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker. He and Sarker were the ninth couple eliminated, during the show's "Around the World Week" on week 10, landing in seventh place.

Series Celebrity partner Place
1 Natasha Kaplinsky 1st
2 Sarah Manners 6th
3 Fiona Phillips 9th
4 Claire King 6th
5 Kelly Brook 6th
6 Lisa Snowdon 3rd
7 Jo Wood 11th
8 Michelle Williams 9th
9 Lulu 10th
10 Victoria Pendleton 8th
11 Sophie Ellis-Bextor 4th
12 Sunetra Sarker 7th

Series 1 – with celebrity dance partner Natasha Kaplinsky[edit]

Series average: 33.0

Series 2 – with celebrity dance partner: Sarah Manners[edit]

Series average: 24.2

Series 3 – with celebrity dance partner: Fiona Phillips[edit]

Series average: 15.0

Series 4 – with celebrity dance partner: Claire King[edit]

Series average: 24.9

Series 5 – with celebrity dance partner: Kelly Brook[edit]

Series average: 33.0

Series 6 – with celebrity dance partner: Lisa Snowdon[edit]

Series average: 34.8

Series 7 – with celebrity dance partner: Jo Wood[edit]

Series average: 18.8

Series 8 – with celebrity dance partner: Michelle Williams[edit]

Series average: 26.3

Series 9 – with celebrity dance partner: Lulu[edit]

Series average: 24.8

Series 10 – with celebrity dance partner: Victoria Pendleton[edit]

Series average: 24.1

Series 11 – with celebrity dance partner: Sophie Ellis-Bextor[edit]

Series average: 33.3

Series 12 – with celebrity dance partner: Sunetra Sarker[edit]

Series average: 28.4

Charity work[edit]

Cole has supported several charity functions including children's anti-bullying campaigning group Act Against Bullying.[3] Brendan was recently a celebrity judge at "Dancing with Sky stars" alongside Arlene Phillips which was hosted at Silverstone Circuit


  1. ^ "Star's chicken killing provokes outrage - Animal Welfare - NZ Herald News". 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  2. ^ Spy - Rachel Glucina (2008-11-26). "Brendan Cole is engaged. Ladies, be grateful - Entertainment - NZ Herald News". Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  3. ^ AAB 20 Cup

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Strictly Come Dancing Champion
(with partner Natasha Kaplinsky)

Series 1 (spring 2004)
Succeeded by
Jill Halfpenny and Darren Bennett