Brendan Cole has admitted that there was a plus side to being knocked out of Strictly Come Dancing midway through the series – as it finally meant he got to have a rest.

The New Zealander and previous series winner with Natasha Kaplinsky in 2004, partnered Victoria Pendleton in 2012 but the couple were voted out in week eight.

And he admitted that it was “bitter-sweet” not to have made it further – but added: “Strictly is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do as an entertainer.

“You work ridiculous hours, seven-day weeks from August until the end of the year, and you are absolutely knackered.

“It’s pretty much relentless,” he added. “So on one hand, I was glad of the sleep, but on the other hand, I was sad.”

Brendan also confessed that training the Olympic cycling champion hadn’t been an easy job.

“I think there was a little lack of danceability in my partnership with Vicky,” he said. “She wasn’t the best dancer in the world and I think maybe it was a bit too soon for her to get involved with Strictly after her big year. I think she needed a break.”

Meanwhile Brendan, whose new stage show Licence To Thrill begins in Aylesbury on January 20, said dancing with so many glamorous women never gave his wife Zoe cause for concern.

“She’s an extremely beautiful woman so she doesn’t worry too much,” he said. “She knows she can trust her other half.”

The pair became parents for the first time on Christmas Day when Zoe gave birth to a baby girl.