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Career

Brendan Cole's new X-Factor Celebrity gig and why he's happy to have the tables turned

The Dancing with the Stars judge chats about why he's stepping out of his comfort zone and putting himself up for judging.

Why are you doing The X Factor: Celebrity?
Why would I not do The X Factor is the question you should ask! It's been in everybody's minds for such a long time, we all know what it is and how it works. The opportunity to be part of a big, big show, a chance to be out of the comfort zone – it was a no-brainer.
Have you always enjoyed singing?
I love to sing, to be on stage and perform. It's a natural thing for me to want to do it. When this opportunity came through, I said, "Absolutely." There was maybe a small question in my mind of, "I don't want to mess it up and ruin my career." But I didn't think there was much chance of that – it's a great and unique opportunity.
For people who have never heard you sing, what's your voice like?
I've not got the most incredible voice. I'm not going to walk out there on stage and people are going to go, "Oh my God, he's going to be the next big thing." But I do have an energy on stage. I can sing.
How do you feel about being judged by Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh?
It's probably better to be judged on my singing because I'm not a professional singer. So you can pretty much say anything to me and I'm going to listen. Ultimately, it's down to the judges – they come from the business, they know their stuff.
I know what it's like to be on stage, I know dancing. When judges critique my dancing and I think differently, that doesn't go down too well with me. Whereas singing, it's not my first gig, and if they've got critique, then I'll have to listen. I'll have to suck it up, even if I disagree with it.
Brendan has been paired up to sing with Hollyoaks actor Jeremy Edwards.
Everyone knows you for being outspoken – if Simon says something that you absolutely disagree with, how are you going to react?
You've got to know your place in the chain, and my place in this chain is not, "I know what's best." I can't promise that I will bite my tongue. Simon and I go way back. We've had many a conversation over the years and there's definitely a mutual respect there, which I really like.

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