Entertainment

Brendan Cole’s replacement revealed – and it’s a familiar face!

The professional dancer was axed from the show in January.

Ever since it was announced that Brendan was leaving the show, Strictly fans have been eagerly awaiting news of his replacement.

Curtis Pritchard, 20, is set to step into 41-year-old Brendan’s shoes and Strictly bosses are reportedly calling him the ‘perfect fit’. Curtis is the brother of AJ Pritchard, 23, who joined the show in 2016 for series 14.

A source told Sunday People: ‘With a distinct lack of tall male dancers to fill Brendan’s shoes, Strictly had a tough job on their hands.

‘But they’ve now found the perfect fit in Curtis. He may be AJ’s younger brother but he’s certainly not smaller than his 5ft 7in stature, which means he could be partnered with the taller women celebrities.’

Brendan Cole was one of the tallest dancers on the show, at 6’1. Curtis is 6’2.

Curtis first impressed bosses at the BBC last year while appearing on Dancing With The Stars Ireland with his dancer girlfriend Emily Barker. Emily is also rumoured to be joining the Strictly line-up, replacing Chloe Hewitt, 22, who is rumoured to have been axed.

Curtis and AJ grew up together and attended Pritchard’s Dance and Fitness Academy in Cheshire, where they discovered a love of dance.

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.’

It’s been a tough time for Brendan, who was shocked to have been axed from the popular BBC show.

‘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 told Lorraine on her chat show shortly after the news broke.

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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