Brendan Cole skating with male as didnt want to disrespect Vanesa Bauer

Brendan Cole has shared his choice of Brendyn Hatfield as a stand-in skating partner on Dancing on Ice was all about 'respect'.

The former Strictly Come Dancing star, 45, was forced to choose another skating partner for the upcoming weekend of skating after Vanessa Bauer, 25, tested positive for Covid-19.

Speaking about his decision to choose a male partner on Thursday's Loose Women, Brendan shared: "Vanessa had a positive test and has to isolate this week. It would have been disrespectful to Vanessa to dance with another girl. She's my girl.

"And the opportunity came to have a male partner so we took it. We work well together me and Brendyn, there is power on the ice. I have had a great week with Brendyn."

Brendan also admitted that he found the show easier thanks to his dancing background after he faced backlash for his Strictly experience.

He said: "Absolutely it is easier, you can pick up choreography easier and can do lifts too. The others probably feel disadvantaged. There are five dancers on the show who have previous experience."

Brendan and Brendyn, 36, will be performing a high-energy routine during Musicals Week, but it's thought the pair have been struggling during rehearsals with some of the moves.

In an interview with The Sun, the show's creative director Dan Whiston said: "I've spent extra time with Brendan and Brendyn, we've extended rehearsal sessions because it's really hard for them to suddenly start a brand new skating relationship, they don't know each other on the ice and how they work but they've gelled really well."

He added: "So far they have been struggling with the 'sliding lunge'. It's difficult because one of them will be taking the other one's weight and they have to slide horizontally across the ice with one of them holding the other up.

"It is a lift in fact and it's sliding so there is a lot of body control needed and it's going at super speed so it's challenging."

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