Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole has remained vague about his future in the series, and has said he will return to the show “if the BBC want” him.
The professional dancer, who sparked speculation that he was considering leaving with comments he made during Sunday night’s results show, added that it “depends on what I’m doing at the time”.
Cole also said he thinks the professional dancers in the current series are “not allowed to have an opinion on anything”, and that new head judge Shirley Ballas is his “colleague”, not his “superior”.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain alongside his Strictly partner, Charlotte Hawkins, who became the latest star to be voted out, he was asked about his comments, in which he said he was “going to miss this”.
Cole, who has been a professional dancer on the show since its inception in 2004, told hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “Every year I have this argument with myself, do I want to do another series?
“I love the show, I love being on it, I love the people that take part. I said at the time ‘I’ll miss this’ as in being in the studio with Charlotte, and we had a fantastic time. I said this is one of the best series I’ve ever had.
“So am I coming back next year, am I not?
“It depends if the BBC want me and it depends on what I’m doing at the time.”
Probed further by Morgan and Reid, Cole said: “Every year it’s the same thing – if I’m ready and available and want to do it and it’s fine to do it, then I’ll come back if the BBC want me.”
He said the dancers on the programme get a new contract every year, and that they do not get extended “five-year” contracts, for example.
Cole then said he had made a pact with himself, and promised his wife, Hawkins and Hawkins’ husband that he would keep quiet if they were given negative feedback from the judges.
Morgan asked what Cole thought when Ballas accidentally referred to Hawkins as Mollie at the weekend.
Cole said that because he had said he would not speak to the judges, “I didn’t even hear her say Mollie because I was looking around going ‘I’m not listening to this because I’ll say something if I don’t like it!’”
Cole added: “I’ve learnt on this series that professionals are apparently not allowed to have an opinion on anything.
“I find this quite frustrating.
“I’m a colleague of Shirley – she’s not my superior, she’s a judge on the show and I respect that, I respect all of them.
“But I’ve realised through the power of social media that people don’t like it if you’ve got an opinion on something.”