Strictly Come Dancing star’s special partnership ahead of new show

Brendan Cole is bringing his Licence To Thrill tour to Hertfordshire Brendan Cole is bringing his Licence To Thrill tour to Hertfordshire

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
3:07 PM

Ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special on Christmas Day, one of the stars of the BBC One show has talked of “loving every minute” of his partnership with SCD finalist Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

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"I have had an incredible year on Strictly and to make it to the final with Sophie was a huge privilege and honour."

Strictly professional dancer Brendan Cole

Professional dancer Brendan Cole finished in fourth place in Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing 2013 final with his pop star partner Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

And it wasn’t Murder on the Dancefloor for Brendan, who also reached the Strictly showdown in 2008 with Welwyn Garden City model and radio presenter Lisa Snowdon.

After Saturday’s showpiece, which was won by model Abbey Clancey, Brendan said: “I have had an incredible year on Strictly and to make it to the final with Sophie was a huge privilege and honour.

“She is such a beautiful dancer and a fantastic person. I have loved every minute of the past three months and it has been an absolute pleasure to be partnered with her.”

Strictly Come Dancing's Aliona Vilani will join fellow Brendan Cole for Licence To Thrill TourStrictly Come Dancing's Aliona Vilani will join fellow Brendan Cole for Licence To Thrill Tour

Having thrilled audiences with some breathtaking dances and stunning choreography on the hit BBC programme, Brendan is now busy preparing for the return of his dazzling live show Licence To Thrill.

Kicking off on January 16 in Eastbourne, the 48-date tour arrives in Hertfordshire in February with a performance at the Watford Colosseum on Thursday, February 13.

However, Brendan’s 2013 Licence To Thrill leading lady from France, Fauve Hautot, is unable to take part having injured cruciate ligaments in her knee.

Stepping into Fauve’s dance shoes and joining Brendan and the rest of the Licence To Thrill cast is fellow Strictly Come Dancing professional Aliona Vilani, who appears in the 2013 Strictly Christmas Special.

"Having worked with Aliona on Strictly since 2009 I know what an incredible dancer she is and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the show."

Strictly Come Dancing professional Brendan Cole

“It is such a shame to not have Fauve returning to join me for the tour,” said Brendan.

“She is a phenomenal dancer and will very much be missed on the tour.

“However, I am really excited to have Aliona stepping into her shoes. Having worked with her on Strictly since 2009 I know what an incredible dancer she is and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the show.”

Australian dancer Melanie Hooper, who first joined Brendan for the final run of Live and Unjudged, Germany’s Patrick Helm, who has been assisting the artist director on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, as well as performing in a number of the professional dances, and home grown dancer Crystal Main will all be returning.

Brendan ColeBrendan Cole

Also back is Brendan’s brother Scott, who always brings something unique to the evening.

“With this wealth of talent we will ensure audiences have the best seat in the house, every night, all night and I can’t wait to see the show back out in theatres again,” said Brendan.

As for Wednesday evening’s Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, six new celebrities will take to the ballroom for a one-off festive performance.

Aliona will be partnering musician and 80s Bros star Matt Goss, with the show starting at 5pm on Christmas Day.

Also competing to get their hands on the Christmas Strictly glitterball trophy are comedian Rufus Hound, Rochelle Humes from girl band The Saturdays, West End legend Elaine Paige, Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox and EastEnders actor Ricky Norwood.

Rochelle Humes teams up with pro dancer Ian Waite, while Sara Cox partners Robin Windsor.

Elaine Paige and Pasha Kovalev will dance together, while Ricky Norwood is paired with Janette Manrara, and Rufus Hound struts his stuff alongside Flavia Cacace.

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