SO, Brendan Cole, erstwhile bad boy of Strictly – if you were James Bond, which 007 would it be? It’s a pertinent question given that his latest tour is entitled Licence to Thrill.
“In my mind’s eye,” he ponders, “I’d probably be closest to Daniel Craig because I like to do a lot of action type stuff, whether it be racing cars of jumping out of planes.
“But I do like the Sean Connery era, he was a brilliant Bond.”
And Brendan will be essaying the Connery look when Licence to Thrill comes to the Philharmonic Hall.
The show features 14 musicians and half-a-dozen top dancers, as well as a pair of vocalists, and will be a chance to showcase a host of different dance styles. Expect a Paso Doble to Macca’s Live and Let Die for example.
Brendan explains: “I just wanted this very Bond-like, sophisticated tuxedo look for a lot of it, and hopefully it will be a magical night of music and dancing and chat.
“It’s a very intimate show where the audience are very much a part of what we’re doing.”
Fans of the 36-year-old who saw his previous Live and Unjudged tour will know this includes a lively question and answer session.
“I always find that one of the most exciting bits of the show because you never know what they’re going to ask,” he grins. “And the further north you are the naughtier it gets!”
While standard questions include inquiries about his favourite dancer or dance, he’s had, he admits “a few phone numbers thrown my way”.
Then there was one enthusiastic pensioner.
“I had an 82-year-old say ‘can I have a feel of your bottom?’,” he laughs.
Did he oblige?
“Of course I did. It would have been wrong not to.”
Goodness knows what wife Zoe makes of all these stage shenanigans. But then she perhaps has more pressing things to think about, having just given birth to the couple’s first child – born on Christmas Day.
Not brilliant timing with the tour.
“It’s one of those things,” Brendan shrugs. “The tour was planned earlier and we thought crikey, shall we postpone it?
“But it’s not just one person affected, it affects a company of 20 plus the crew on the road. It’s a big thing to try and cancel once it’s underway.”
One thing fatherhood is likely to put a stop to is some of the New Zealander’s more daredevil activities.
In 2010 he got his race licence, and he has been around the Silverstone track three times for charity.
However it was a case of third time unlucky when he had a brake failure at 100mph.
“That scared the bejesus out of me,” he admits. “I think I’ll hang up my racing boots for now and look after my wife and baby.”
The tour keeps him busy until March, but there are plenty of things in the pipeline, including expanding his own dance academy for youngsters.
Then of course there’s Strictly Come Dancing. Brendan won the first series back in 2004, and with Anton du Beke and Erin Boag is the longest serving professional dancer.
“It’s an amazing thing to be part of the show for that long and still be liked I suppose, hopefully,” he says.
“We must be doing something right. And we’re very lucky to be part of the show really.”
Licence to Thrill is at the Philharmonic Hall on February 23.