Kiwi ballroom dance star Brendan Cole has appeared on UK TV panel show Loose Women to open up about a very personal issue that affected him from birth – an underdeveloped penis.
The former Dancing With The Stars New Zealand judge has been doing the talk show rounds after he was fired from Strictly Come Dancing, the UK version of Dancing With The Stars, after 15 seasons with the show.
Brendan comes from a famous dance family - his sister Vanessa Cole partnered former Black Caps star Chris Harris to the finals of this year's season of Dancing With The Stars NZ, and won with Simon Barnett in the previous season.
Brendan also has a close link to the latest season of DWTS NZ - he was engaged to judge and former dance partner Camilla Sacre-Dallerup.
They were together 8 years, but Camilla was left devastated when their relationship broke down amid rumours that he had developed feelings for his Strictly Come Dancing celebrity partner, newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky.
Brendan and Natasha went on to win the first series of the show in 2004 and Camilla, who was partnered on the show with antiques expert David Dickinson, described the break-up as a "mini death."
Speaking candidly during his appearance on Loose Women, Brendan told the audience how he had suffered with "crippling" self-confidence issues growing up, thanks to a birth condition called hypospadias.
In a segment titled 'should there be more sympathy for male body hang-ups?', he said, "It's ingrained in you from such a young age – 'have you got a small one or have you got a big one?'"
"Most people have got a fairly normal sized penis. On personal note, I had a condition when I was born called hypospadias – you can look that up if you want – and that made me very self-conscious about that."
After being questioned by one of the hosts on what the condition meant, he explained, "It's where your penis isn't fully developed or it's got an issue."
Hypospadias is a relatively rare congenital condition where the opening of the penis is on the underside of the organ, rather than on the tip.
"That was a major thing for me, I had twelve operations from the age of two to twelve," he continued. "I've never actually said this on television, what the hell [am I] doing?!"
"It made me question whether I was normal, whether everything worked and if I was like everybody else. Up until I was sixteen, eighteen, even up into my early twenties there were still question marks because we all have insecurities," he said. "And to get over that maybe you need counselling, maybe you need friends or a good relationship."
Brendan does now have that good relationship. He married British model Zoe Hobbs in 2010. They are parents to five-year-old daughter Aurelia and a son, Dante, who was born in March this year.