Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Brendan Cole has revealed that his contract has not been renewed for the next series.
The New Zealander has been with the BBC show since it started in 2004 and is one of the original series' two remaining professionals, the other being Anton du Beke. Cole won the first season with his 2004 dance partner, presenter Natasha Kaplinsky.
Speaking on ITV talk show Lorraine on Tuesday morning, an emotional Cole said he was "a little bit in shock at the moment".
EXCLUSIVE: @BrendanCole will NOT return to @bbcstrictly: ‘It’s quite hard to talk about, the BBC haven’t renewed my contract. They’ve made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show.’ pic.twitter.com/JX3PitqTQx— Lorraine on ITV (@ITVLorraine) January 30, 2018
"I have had 15 incredible series on the show, I'm very proud of the whole show. I'm very disappointed, it's still hard to talk about it," Cole admitted.
"I'm a fan of the show, I love the show, the show comes first," he continued.
"I will still watch the show. I'm a strong character in the show; they won't have that anymore. Nobody will argue with the judges."
"I'm very sad to leave, to not be asked back... However I'm available for weddings, funerals and bar mitzvahs," he joked.
Cole - a recent guest on RTÉ One's The Ray D'Arcy Show - partnered presenter Charlotte Hawkins on the most recent series of Strictly.
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Last year he said he would return to the hit series in 2018 if he was available - and the BBC wanted him back.
The BBC thanked Cole for his work on the show over the years, with his most recent dance partner Hawkins also paying tribute.
Thank you @BrendanCole 👏 https://t.co/emJ4m8g4Zg— BBC Strictly✨ (@bbcstrictly) January 30, 2018
Sad news from my dance partner @BrendanCole this morning that he won’t be a part of @bbcstrictly anymore. What an end of an era - he’s been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won’t be the same without him 😔😔— Charlotte Hawkins (@CharlotteHawkns) January 30, 2018
Cole brings his dance show All Night Long to Dublin's Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in March.