Dancing On Ice has signed up Brendan Cole despite his ‘pro freedom of choice’ views on Covid vaccines.
The professional dancer, 45, is said to have previously used his Instagram to criticise lockdowns and other Covid measures amid Strictly Come Dancing‘s own anti-vax dispute.
According to The Sun, Brendan recently deleted ‘pro freedom of choice’ from his Instagram bio.
Views: Dancing On Ice has signed up Brendan Cole despite his ‘pro freedom of choice’ views on Covid vaccines (pictured in July 2021)
An insider revealed the former Strictly star has been living in Mallorca for the past year where not many islanders are jabbed.
They said: ‘Arguably Brendan’s signing is controversial in itself, given that he has a dance background and will perhaps find learning the routines easier than others.
‘He’s been very outspoken both publicly and privately about governments trying to make people get jabbed, and how he thinks the wearing of masks is fairly pointless.
‘The last thing ITV bosses will want is another anti-vaxxing row. Hopefully Brendan has privately been jabbed, and that’ll be the end of the matter.’
Opinion: The professional dancer, 45, is said to have previously used his Instagram to criticise lockdowns and other Covid measures amid Strictly Come Dancing’s own anti-vax dispute pictured with Sophie Ellis Bexter on Strictly in 2013)
ITV are said to be aware of Brendan’s opinions and are confident their safety measures are robust enough to keep everyone protected.
Earlier this year Brendan had a disagreement with fellow Strictly professonal and former Dancing On Ice winner James Jordan.
Brendan posted a report claiming masks were ineffective and then deleted the post following a backlash.
He later wrote: ‘I will point out there is plenty of evidence on the contrary and it is up to each of us what to believe. ‘ continue to believe that this has been the wrong way to handle things.’
A source said: ‘The last thing ITV bosses will want is another anti-vaxxing row. Hopefully Brendan has privately been jabbed, and that’ll be the end of the matter’
A spokesperson for Dancing On Ice said: ‘We have stringent protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of all our contributors and staff which are routinely monitored and updated to reflect the current guidelines.’
It comes after several Strictly pros have called in their union over the show’s recent vaccine row as ex-head judge Len Goodman blasted the ‘madness’ of the show continuing without mandatory jabs.
The dancers have asked for advice and support from the entertainment arts union Equity after a confrontation with show bosses, according to The Sun.
It was previously revealed that three of the professional dancers have refused the coronavirus vaccine.
They added: ‘The last thing ITV bosses will want is another anti-vaxxing row. Hopefully Brendan has privately been jabbed, and that’ll be the end of the matter’
The unvaccinated pros are reportedly so opposed to receiving the Covid jab, they are willing to quit the show.
Sources claim that despite others pleading for them to reconsider, the dancers, who have not been named, are steadfast in their decision not to have the jab.
A source told the newspaper: ‘Both vaccinated and unvaccinated dancers have gone to the union. They want to know how to navigate their rights with BBC bosses.’
It continued that things behind the scenes are ‘increasingly tense’ and could even lead to the union recommending ‘some sort of action by those who feel aggrieved’.
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline in response: ‘It is not the case that concerns have been raised with the BBC or the Strictly production team from dancers or celebrities about vaccination, or that they have threatened to quit.’
Ex-head judge Len has also now waded in on the row, saying it’s ‘madness’ that everyone on the show wasn’t required to be fully vaccinated before it started.
Drama: Several Strictly pros have called in their union over the show’s recent vaccine row, it was reported on Saturday night
He told the publication: ‘It’s madness — especially as you’re dancing in such close proximity to each other.
‘I can imagine it becoming quite confrontational if anyone found out their partner wasn’t vaccinated.
‘People need to realise it’s not just about them, but it’s about having respect for others and especially the older people who have proved to be more vulnerable.’
Following reports that one celebrity was furious to learn their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, former Strictly stars have led calls for the unvaccinated dancers to be dropped from the show.
James Jordan, who was a professional on Strictly from 2006 to 2013, slammed the ‘selfish’ dancers who are putting the ‘entire show at risk’ and called on BBC bosses to publicly name them.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: ‘If someone on this show gets this virus and their immune system is really low and they die, it could have been prevented.
Opinions: It came as ex-head judge Len Goodman blasted the ‘madness’ of the show continuing without mandatory jabs
‘The BBC is publicly funded by taxpayers. There’s over 44million people that are double vaccinated in this country so the BBC has a moral obligation to the country to say to these dancers, ”I’m really sorry, unless you’re going to be double vaccinated you can’t have your position on Strictly”.
‘I don’t believe they should be dancing and putting the whole cast of Strictly in jeopardy.’
James added that BBC bosses should have asked this year’s dancers whether they’d been vaccinated against Covid, and if not they should not be allowed to take part on the show.
It came following reports that BBC bosses were battling to save Strictly and a furious star told pals: ‘We should have been protected,’ after learning their professional partner hasn’t received the jab.
A source told The Sun the celebrity was previously unaware their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, and has been stunned by BBC bosses’ failure to secure their safety despite stringent Covid measures.
They said: ‘They just couldn’t believe that their partner would not have had a jab.
Furious: James Jordan has slammed the three Strictly dancers who have reportedly refused to take the Covid vaccine and said they don’t deserve their right on the show
‘They thought they’d be protected so to discover their partner hasn’t even had a single jab is very worrying.
‘The couple have already spent tens of hours practising together. Clearly, there is a lot of anger and a lot of questions to be asked.’
It was reported that the revelation a third professional dancer had refused the Covid, had become well-known among the Strictly cast, sparking resentment behind the scenes.
The pro, who was not named, does not have to disclose whether they’ve been vaccinated to BBC bosses, because it is a private medical matter.
A Strictly spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We do not comment on speculation of somebody’s COVID vaccination status.
‘Strictly Come Dancing production has, and will, continue to follow strict government guidelines to ensure the safety of all on the show.’
Rules: Following reports that one celebrity was furious to learn their professional partner hadn’t been jabbed, former Strictly stars have led calls for the unvaccinated dancers to be dropped from the show (the celebrity lineup is pictured)