shirley ballas brendan cole

Strictly Come Dancing's Shirley Ballas denies Brendan Cole feud

The Strictly head judge has opened up about the next series

Sharnaz Shahid

Shirley Ballas has opened up about her so-called "fractured" relationship with Brendan Cole. During her Loose Women appearance on Wednesday, the Strictly Come Dancing head judge - who made her debut on the judging panel in last year's series - revealed that she and the axed professional dancer never had a spat. "I just gave my critique and people decide which way they're going to take it," she explained. "I did everything from a good place and I just wanted Charlotte [GMB's Charlotte Hawkins, Cole's celebrity partner] to improve her performance."

When asked about Brendan's future, Shirley replied: "I think whatever he puts his mind to and wherever he goes he will do a divine job because I've known him all his life, he's a hard worker, he has a beautiful family and I have faith in everything he does he will do a good job." They pair made headlines after a prickly exchange during one of the live shows. "I don't have any recollection on a personal level of bridges ever being broken or rebuilt between me and Brendan," Shirley recently revealed to HELLO!.

Exclusive: Shirley Ballas opens up about relationship with Brendan Cole

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"He is an amazing dancer, an amazing person, whose career I have followed for many, many years and I’m extremely proud of what he's achieved both at work and at home. One of the things people learn with me is I don’t need to pull someone else down to build myself up and I will live and die by that rule. There has been no face-to-face confrontation and all I can say is I wish him, his wife and their two beautiful children well because, whatever he does next, I know he will bring 100% to his role," she continued.

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After the heated exchange, Brendan set the record straight over Shirley's comments. "I wasn't [hurling abuse at Shirley]," he explained on Lorraine. "If someone is under-marked, we all shout out 'under-marked' - apparently, that means I'm hurling abuse at Shirley." He added: "They've also said that I've been ignoring Shirley backstage, but I haven't seen Shirley backstage! Shirley, if I do ever see you backstage, I am going to ignore you out of principle. Shirley and I actually go way back. I don't necessarily like what she did to us on our journey, but the BBC are loving her, some of the fans are loving her too, although some are hating her."