Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole has jumped to the defence of his celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins once again, claiming she'd made "phenomenal" progress

Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole has jumped to the defence of his celebrity partner Charlotte Hawkins once again, and said she is doing well considering she is “not one of the people from X Factor,” adding that she’d made “phenomenal” progress.

The professional dancer – who’s already mounted one passionate defence of his partner – caused waves on the BBC1 programme on Saturday night as he defended Charlotte against head judge Shirley Ballas when she critiqued their routine, after also hitting back at the judges the previous week.

Following their dance during movie week, a Top Gun-themed tango, the former Queen of Latin had barely got to the end of her sentence before Brendan interrupted: “I’m really sorry, but there was no rise and fall.”

She told him to look back over the footage, to which Brendan firmly responded: “I will, my dear.”

Appearing alongside Good Morning Britain presenter Charlotte on the ITV programme on Monday, Brendan said: “I’ve watched the tape back, I’ve seen it – there is no rise and fall in it.

“You could argue with anybody, you could say Aston (Merrygold) didn’t do a proper cha cha, but he did an amazing cha cha.”

Brendan added: “What Charlotte did on Saturday was a phenomenal dance compared to what we’d done before and given the fact she’s not one of the people from X Factor.”

This year’s series currently has two former X Factor contestants – ex-JLS member Merrygold, and 2008 champion Alexandra Burke.

He said Charlotte made a “massive” improvement from her dance the previous weekend, which saw her receive just 12 points from the judges, the lowest score of the series so far.

Asked by Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan what he thought about being told he needed to be more respectful to the chief of the panel by judge Bruno Tonioli, Brendan Cole said: “Well, I think they’re all a bit upset with me because I was a bit mouthy the week before.

“I’m going to take a step back, it’s about Charlotte and we need to make it about Charlotte.”

Charlotte said: “I was really touched that, you know, you’d been standing up for me.

“It is disappointing when you come back fighting, tried really, really hard and you’re doing a dance in training and you think it feels great, (then) you come to do it and the judges don’t recognise that – it is hard.”

Following their Top Gun dance, they received 17 points from the judges, coming third from the bottom.

However, they were spared an early exit from the competition, as Reverend Richard Coles became the latest to be eliminated after losing the dance-off against Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer.