Belfast Telegraph

Brendan Cole foxtrotting over to ITV after Strictly exit

The New Zealander will swap his dancing shoes for football boots to take part in ITV’s Soccer Aid for Unicef.

Brendan Cole has announced his next venture will be on ITV after he was booted off Strictly Come Dancing by the BBC.

The 41-year-old New Zealander will take part in ITV’s Soccer Aid for Unicef at Old Trafford in June as he joins Usain Bolt’s World XI.

The professional dancer featured in every series of Strictly since it began in 2004 but the BBC made the “editorial decision” not to renew his contract in January.

He joins the likes of Sir Mo Farah, Robbie Williams and Gordon Ramsay in signing up for the match alongside former professionals Clarence Seedorf and Robert Pires.

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Brendan Cole plays for Soccer Aid for Unicef (SoccerAid/Unicef)

Cole said: “As soon as the curtain fell on my Strictly career, I knew my next move had to be Soccer Aid for Unicef. For years, I have been a massive fan of the match and have always watched the game in between performances.

“To be able to finally announce that I will be swapping my dancing shoes for football boots this summer feels incredible. What’s bigger than the nation’s love of dancing? The nation’s love of the beautiful game, of course – and I’m aiming for 10s across the board.”

Bolt’s World XI will take on Williams’ England XI in the international friendly, which takes place on June 10.

Launched in 2006 by Unicef UK ambassador Williams, it has previously featured stars including Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Maradona and Ronaldinho.

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