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!.
"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.
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."