Strictly Come Dancing veteran Brendan Cole has revealed he's been sacked from the dancing competition after 13 years and 15 series because he's "not part of the BBC's vision" for the future of the hit Saturday night show.
The 41-year-old professional dancer told ITV's Lorraine he was "in shock" following the decision. "They made an editorial decision not to have me back on the show. I have had 15 incredible series on the show, they are a great team," he said.
Cole was one of the show's first professionals, and won the inaugural series with newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky back in 2004.
A BBC spokesperson said: "We'd like to thank Brendan for being part of the show since the beginning – winner of the first series – and for the contribution he has made to its success. We wish him all the very best for the future."
In his last series, the New Zealander teamed with Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte Hawkins and was eliminated in week four.
On Twitter Hawkins said: "Sad news from my dance partner Brendan Cole this morning that he won't be a part of Strictly anymore. What an end of an era - he's been such an integral part of the show since it started 15 series ago. It won't be the same without him."
Over the years Cole has partnered with Fiona Phillips, Kelly Brook, Lulu, Kirsty Gallacher, Anastacia and more. He never followed up his win with another, but came third overall with Lisa Snowdon in series six and fourth with Sophie Ellis-Bextor in series 11.
Cole implied that his fiery temperament might have contributed to the BBC's decision, saying: "I have strong views, I'm a character on the show. I have always said as long as I've got a passion for it, I want to be there. I want to still be there.
"I will miss being a Strictly dancer. It's very odd to say this out loud. It's still very raw.
"To feel I'm not going to be part of it anymore is... It's changed our lives dramatically. I think about everyone there, and I think bloody hell, I'm not going to be part of that team, and they are still going to be there.
"I will still watch, I'm a big fan, I don't like the decision though."