Cole: Brucie should have stayed
Brendan Cole has revealed he was disappointed when he heard of Sir Bruce Forsyth's decision to step down from Strictly Come Dancing.
The professional dancer, who has been a mentor on the BBC show since it started in 2004, said he hoped the 86-year-old would have carried on with his hosting duties.
"I hoped he would have gone all the way, but... it's his decision to leave, so you've got to respect that," he told Digital Spy.
"Things do change, and you've got to go with change and hope that it doesn't affect the show in too many ways."
Brucie made the decision to quit the weekly shows in April, after a decade of fronting Strictly with Tess Daly. He will continue to work on pre-recorded Strictly shows for Christmas and Children In Need as well as one-off BBC specials.
Brendan said his replacement Claudia Winkleman will be "respected" in her new role.
"Claudia's tried and tested," he said. "We know what we're going to get.
"It's not an easy show - to have that position and be respected in that position is a very different thing. The BBC have decided she's the one to take it forward, so I'll go with them and say, 'Let's do it'."
The 38-year-old said he would like to see former Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack take part in Strictly.
Other names that have been linked to the 11th series of the show, which returns in September, include soap star Michelle Collins, Radio 1 DJ Greg James, TV documentary presenter Ross Kemp, former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright and football pundit Alan Hansen.