Simon Hale talks to Strictly star Brendan Cole about his upcoming tour.
Brendan Cole may not have reached the final of the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing but he is looking forward to dazzling a local audience on the final night of his new tour.
The charismatic choreographer and professional dancer, who famously partnered BBC newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky to victory in the first series of the perennially popular TV show in 2004, is bringing A Night to Remember to Symphony Hall in March 2015.
Having instilled a love of dancing among viewers of all ages after appearing in all 12 series, the 38-year-old told the Birmingham Press that his latest live music and dance show will have “something for everyone”.
“It’s Strictly based, with a similar range of styles and numbers that will appeal to young people and grandparents alike,” said the New Zealander who toured successfully with his previous shows Live and Unjudged and Licence to Thrill.
“I’ve been storing the new show in my head for a long time. The dancing cast is sensational, the specially chosen music for the 14-piece band is superb, and the pyrotechnics will be stunning.”
Brendan will be on stage for 85% of the show, with much of that time spent partnering French Dancing with the Stars champion Fauve Hautot. When he’s not dancing, he’ll be chatting with the audience. Among the cast are Germany’s Patrick Helm, who has been working as assistant to the artistic director on Strictly Come Dancing, and professional ballroom and Latin dance instructor Crystal Main.
“We’ll also have the brilliant Latin dancing group Kings and Queens who reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent this year,” said Brendan who will be leading his cast through dance styles ranging from the Quickstep and Tango to the Waltz and the Charleston.
“A Night to Remember will be bigger and better than any show that I’ve choreographed before and it’s fitting that the last night will be at Symphony Hall which I’ve been told is a simply awesome venue. I can’t wait to start rehearsals for the show.”
Brendan will have had 47 performances in fewer than three months under his dance belt before making his debut at the world-class auditorium with his show.
“The first few nights will be taxing but then we’ll become match fit and just keep going. But the schedule isn’t as demanding as ‘Strictly’ which involves working seven days a week.
“Anton (du Beke) and I are very proud of Strictly as we started it and are the only professionals that have been in every series. Eventually it will lose its shelf life but I want to keep working on it until it does.”
So who has been Brendan’s favourite celebrity dance partner in the series?
“Lisa Snowdon and Kelly Brook were great to dance with, as was Jo Wood, even if she wasn’t the most talented dancer. But Sophie Ellis-Baxter would have to be at the top of the list.
“Sophie and I gelled from the word go and everything about working with her was right. I’ve never told anyone else this but with Sophie it was the only time that I’ve ever felt sad when it was over. I had always been pre-occupied looking forward to the next partnership.”
And how does he get the most out of his celebrity partners?
“You have to assess each person’s strengths and weaknesses. You also have to learn of their aspirations and how to cope with their emotions, on top of teaching them the dance steps.”
Brendan’s partner in his domestic life is Zoe Hobbs, the model he married in 2010.
“Zoe has helped me with the music for A Night to Remember and acted as the chief punter while I’ve been working on the show,” he said.
Their daughter Aurelia, whose second birthday the couple celebrated on Christmas Day, is already showing an interest in dancing.
“She likes to dance when she sees dancing on the TV and has a definite flair. “I wouldn’t want to push her into dance as a career though. I want to open her mind to as many opportunities in life as possible.”
Tickets for Brendan Cole – A Night to Remember at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Sunday, March 29th at 7.30pm are available priced at £19.50 to £39.50 by calling the box office on 0121 780 4949 or visiting www.thsh.co.uk