That, however, already feels like a lifetime ago and the New Zealand ballroom star has quickly moved on. Having exited the show after coupling Charlotte Hawkins on Series 15, he’s found himself in more demand than ever.
Cole famously won the first show, with Natasha Kaplinsky, and came third six years later with Lisa Snowdon.
Now he’s back on the road with his own show, Show Man, and fans can expect every style of ballroom and Latin dance.
Brendan Cole will be joined by his hand-picked championship dancers and they will perform to the music and songs of some of the greatest legends and contemporary artistes.
Fans can look forward to everything from a cheeky Charleston to a sexy Salsa and there will be music from Beggin’ to Bublé, plus numbers from The Greatest Showman and La La Land – the show has it all.
Cole will be joined by singers and a live band to showcase the superb choreography and dazzling performance that has kept him in the public eye for 15 years.
Cole said: “It really is a big old show. We have 19 musicians and dancers on stage. A local choir is coming in as part of the more theatrical numbers, which is just amazing to see up on the stage.
"Birmingham is the most incredible venue, the sound is great and the venue is amazing. We have all of the dances that people know and love from Strictly, the intimate ones like rumbas or the bigger numbers.
"We have it all covered. It’s a show that chops and changes. We open with The Greatest Showman then we’re into this beautiful rendition of Send In The Clowns. It’s got everything from big spectacle to absolute beauty.”
Cole was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has danced since he was six.
He moved to the United Kingdom when he was eighteen, where he studied the pasodoble, ballroom and ballet at Donaheys, Clayton, Manchester.
Before becoming a professional dancer Cole was a builder and roof layer, having left school at 17.
In 2010, he married Zoe Hobbs, a British model, who gave birth to their first child, daughter Aurelia, on Christmas Day 2012. In March 2018, Zoe gave birth to their son Danté.
Cole said: “This is my fifth production. My wife and I do most of the creative stuff together; she’s been there since the first show, Live and Unjudged.
"It’s put together but it grows as the time grows on. You start to add different elements. The big movies that are out there give us great material to work from.
“Every year, I tour with the most incredibly talented bunch of singers and musicians. We’re often discussing different ideas that we want to create and add to the next show.
"We have a great time on the road. We’re creative people hanging out together, drinking and being silly together.”
Cole says he’s now settled into his new post-Strictly life and could not be happier.
“That first few days after Strictly ended were weird. It was scary.
"Then what has happened is that so many other doors have been opened. Strictly was five months of the year. Now I’ve got my year back.
"The calendar is full and it’s allowed stuff like X Factor. I miss being on it in some respects and I miss the gang, my mates on the show, but I’m a next chapter kinda guy.
"It’s also allowed for this production to be my biggest and best.”