Strictly star Brendan Cole is bringing a vibrant mixture of hot dancing and hot gossip to the stage in Sheffield next week.
Brendan said: “I like to describe the show as an ‘evening with’. It’s quite a personal show and a dance show at its heart.
“I have six fantastic dancers and 14 musicians on stage. Visually, it’s pretty exciting.
“I share a lot of backstage gossip from Strictly. During the Q and A part of the show I give the audience an insight into what’s happening behind the scenes.
“I like the live element of that. We can have a bit of fun and joking around. It’s a chance to get to know me and my cast a bit better.”
This is Brendan’s third touring show and he said: “I wanted something that was all-encompassing about what we do. The audience are very diverse, from children to people my age and right up to granny and grandad.
“I was keen to do something that suited everyone, so it’s not all ballroom. Things keep chopping and changing and there’s never a dull moment.”
Now he’s done about 200 theatre shows and said he’s got more ambitious and gone for higher production values.
“The new cast generates a little bit of excitement. My leading lady, Fauve Hautot, is just sensational. She blows your mind and is a captivating performer.”
Brendan is also excited to be joined by Kai Widdrington, a ballroom dancer who reached the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. Brendan said: “To have him on stage with me, things like that can change a show.”
Brendan said he was happy at the way that the latest season of Strictly with Casualty actress Sunetra Sarker went: “I think we had a really good time on the show when you think this is what we achieved.
“Week 10 is a very big achievement for anybody who gets on it and after three times on the dance-off your time is up.
“We both went out with a big smile on our faces and did really well. We had a great time together. We held our heads up and smiled. I thought this is good, you’ve done really well.”
Brendan has also appeared as a judge on the New Zealand version of Strictly, which is called Dancing with the Stars.
He said: “I ran it for five years. I loved that role. You don’t get kicked off, you’re there every week.
“I’m quite a harsh judge. I call it like it is but I understand what they’re going through.”
He was often at odds with Craig Revel Horwood when he they appeared together as judges. “It’s handbags drawn on the judging panel with Craig and then when you’re sitting chatting it’s different.
“Day to day he’s a perfectly nice fellow and as charming as the next one. We get on very well outside the show.”
Strictly has transformed Brendan’s life and he’s amazed by its success.
“We started off with a pro-celebrity come dancing at the time. Who knew it was going to be this ridiculous phenomenon?
“I’m still very much a part of Strictly. I love it. I can’t imagine my life not being on Strictly.
“At that time I was still competing but then I never went back to it. It was the end of an era of my life.
“Then my life became Strictly and other TV shows. It’s been incredible. When I think back to when it started, life is about seizing opportunities and which doors to walk through. I could easily have said I want to concentrate on competing.
“The decision was made and looking back it was the only decision. I can’t imagine not doing it.”
Having his own show is a welcome change from the gruelling Strictly schedule, which doesn’t give much time for family life. He can also involve wife Zoe Hobbs: “It’s a family business, we’re all very proud of what we produce.”
Brendan said that baby daughter Aurelia “has definitely got the moves! We will give her lots of opportunities and see what happens. There’s no doubt she’ll go to ballet classes.”
That’s how the New Zealander got started: “Pretty much my mum made me do it. At six to seven you don’t choose ballroom dancing in a rugby-playing nation. I played different sports.”
A Night to Remember with Brendan Cole is at the City Hall next Wednesday. Tickets: from the venue, online at www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or call 0114 278 9789.