Five Minutes With | Brendan Cole

The Strictly Come Dancing star on the hit show, his live tour and working with wife Zoe Hobbs…

Interview by Rosalind Sack

What can we expect from your live tour, A Night To Remember?

It’s a ballroom and Latin dance show at its heart but there’s far more to it. We have eight phenomenal dancers and 14 musicians all on stage, and they’re the most incredible bunch. It’s very intimate and hopefully the audience will feel they’re very much a part of it. I host as well as perform in it, so I can be a bit cheeky and naughty – it’s all kid-friendly, though!

Who appears in the show alongside you?

Among them is my leading lady, Fauve Hautot, who is a dancer on Dancing with the Stars in France and is a massive star over there. Her charisma on stage is mind-blowing. Kai Widdrington was in the final of Britain’s Got Talent two years ago, and is part of the dance group Kings & Queens who are going to bring something really unique to the show. And the musical director, Barry Robinson, has been my right-hand man from the beginning.

It’s a tough schedule – will you miss your wife, Zoe Hobbs, and daughter Aurelia?

Yes, we’re doing 48 shows in just over two months, which is a gruelling schedule. But Zoe is heavily involved – she has to put up with my stresses and is my sounding board. She is essentially an audience member – somebody who loves Strictly and likes to go out and be entertained. Barry, myself and Zoe work together, so we have a diverse team of a producer, a music director and a punter, too. She is very supportive and it’s a family business.

What are the health benefits of dancing?

shutterstock_157436759You use your mind while dancing so it doesn’t really feel like you’re working out. Keeping your mind active is so important, especially if you’re getting older – dancing keeps people younger for longer. Dancing also exercises so many different muscle groups that you rarely use. The Strictly celebrities often find they’re using muscles they didn’t even know existed and they tone up quicker because of it.

Which celebrity would you love to see on Strictly?

I think the actor Robert Lindsay would be a great signing. But he’s a very busy boy so we may not be lucky enough to get him. He’s sauve and seems like a nice chap.

Can you see yourself always taking part in Strictly?

I can’t imagine ever not doing it. I’ve been a Strictly dancer for over a quarter of my life, which is a massive chunk of time at the grand old age of 38, so not going to the studio every week when the show was running would be very strange. I love my job and I’m very proud that Anton Du Beke and myself are the originals and we’re still going strong. So hopefully it will continue and I will continue on it. Every year, the show gets bigger and better, and it’s a very tough job while we’re in it and very hard on family life, but it is what I do and I’m very proud of what the entire Strictly production achieves.

Who is your closest friend on Strictly?

Anton and Aljaž Skorjanec. I feel like I look after Aljaž a little bit because he’s one of the new boys, and Anton and I go way back. It was a really good group of professional dancers in the last series; there was no argy bargy, no problems. We got on well and respected each other.

Brendan Cole’s tour A Night to Remember runs until 29 March 2015, visit brendancole.com

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