BRENDAN STEPS UP THE SHOW WITH A LICENCE TO THRILL
When: Thursday, February 21, 7.30pm.
Where: Hull New Theatre, Kingston Square, Hull.
Tickets: From £29.50 To book: 01482 300300.
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Roots: Brendan Cole was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in April 1976. He started dancing at the age of six.
Up on the roof: Brendan moved to the UK when he was 18. Before becoming a professional dancer, he worked as a builder and roofer
Partner: His former dance partner was fellow Strictly star Camilla Dallerup. They placed third in the Latin American section at the UK Closed Dance Championships in 2003.
He's the bad boy of the dancing world who's got a licence to thrill. Ian Midgley meets Strictly star Brendan Cole as he prepares to bring his tour to Hull New Theatre
B rendan Cole's life sucks. I mean, imagine having to perform sultry tangos with Kelly Brook, sexy salsas with Lisa Snowdon and the cha-cha-cha with Olympic cover girl Victoria Pendleton.
It is a miracle the dancing bad boy has the energy to leave the house.
"I know," says the 36-year-old New Zealander. "It's a hard life. But someone has to do it.
"To be fair, I don't think there's a man out there who wouldn't swap places with me. I know how lucky I am.
"When I was growing up in New Zealand, being into ballroom dancing in a rugby- playing neighbourhood could be a little 'challenging'.
"I used to get all the nicknames about being, let's say, effeminate – I'm sure you can imagine.
"But I like to think I got the last laugh. I mean, look at all the beautiful women I get to dance with."
When we speak, Brendan and his latest TV partner Victoria have just been voted off the tenth series of Strictly, the prime-time Saturday night dancing show that has made him a household name.
He is honest enough to admit that "the time was right" to make an exit, clearing the way for the other, more nimble- footed, celebrities.
It is the furthest he has got in the competition since he waltzed supermodel Lisa Snowdon into third place in 2008 – but he's been nowhere near claiming the glitter ball trophy since his debut success with Natasha Kaplinsky way back in 2004.
He is not disappointed, he says, plus being off the show gives him the chance to focus on his forthcoming 22-date live tour, which arrives at Hull New Theatre, next Thursday.
"When you are competing in Strictly, it's all-consuming and the mind must be completely focused on the job, looking after your partner and all that goes with getting ready for the Saturday show each week," he says.
"Of course, it was disappointing to leave the show, but I'm glad that Victoria was able to dance at Wembley, which was such a buzz.
"Now I am finalising all the plans for the Licence To Thrill tour, which is going to be our best show yet, full of drama, passion, fantastic music and dancing and, hopefully, a lot of fun."
Branded Licence To Thrill, the Kiwi's latest tour has something of a Bondian flavour, no doubt craftily aimed to capitalise on the success of 007's latest blockbuster Skyfall.
"The inspiration for the Bond theme came from the classy, elegant persona that is Bond and, as we've just had the 50th anniversary of the Bond movies, it seemed fitting," says the charming dancer, who you could actually imagine pulling on a tux to play MI6's most dapper agent.
"A couple of the big music tracks associated with Bond are being used and the lighting and costuming will be reflecting that as well.
"One of the big songs is Gladys Knight's Licence To Kill, hence the Licence To Thrill title.
"There will also be a dance-off between the male dancers, done with capes to Live And Let Die, which I'm really excited about."
On stage new father Brendan, whose wife Zoe gave birth to a baby girl, Aurelia, on Christmas Day, will be joined by a cast of five other dancers and 14 musicians, including an appearance by his brother and fellow dancer Scott.
"Scott definitely brings something unique to the evening," says Brendan.
"It adds an extra bit of brotherly competition into the mix.
"We're always trying to outdo each other and it helps adds to the banter.
"Maybe I'm like 007 and he's like 006;" he says mischievously. "He's the one that always gets bumped off in the opening credits."