Strictly Come Dancing 2018: Is THIS familiar face joining the line-up?

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STRICTLY Come Dancing viewers will get to know another professional this year.

As fans of Strictly Come Dancing will know all too well, Brendan Cole, 42, was axed from the show earlier this year.

The New Zealand native — who joined the talent competition for its debut series in 2004 — revealed his contract had not been renewed.

But viewers needn’t worry about there being one less male, as the TV talent has been replaced by none other than British dancer Neil Jones.

The flame-haired performer may well be a familiar face to many, as he was initially signed up as a Strictly professional in 2016, alongside his wife Katya, 29.

However, while Katya appeared on the show straight away, teaming up with former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, 51, Neil has yet to be partnered with a celebrity.

Instead, the dancing champ has served as a standby, while also making appearances on Strictly’s BBC Two companion show It Takes Two.

The BBC One show’s voiceover artist Alan Dedicoat is quoted as telling The Sun: “Neil Jones is doing it [Strictly] this year.

“He’s always been on the show, but not coupled with someone, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does.”

“Brendan has always been like that. He always answers back”

Craig Revel-Horwood

There has been much speculation as to why Brendan’s contract was not renewed earlier this year.

In 2017, the pro dancer famously shared an awkward on-air clash with new judge Shirley Ballas, 57, when he questioned her critique of his dance with Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins, 43.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online earlier this year, long-time judge Craig Revel-Horwood, 53, had his say on the pair’s supposed feud.

Throwing his support behind fellow judge Shirley, he told us: “Brendan has always been like that. He always answers back.

“He always has done. He has done for the last 14 years, there’s nothing different in that.”

Craig added: “Shirley and myself were up there to judge the dancing, and if they [the dancers]can’t take it, they can’t take it.”

And it turns out the renowned choreographer has also shared tense on-screen moments with Brendan.

The TV judge admitted admitted: “I had so many spats with him [Brendan] during the show in New Zealand when we were both judging Dancing With the Stars.”

Daily Star Online has contacted Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

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