Strictly's Brendan Cole: Victoria Pendleton is not a performer and never will be - EXCLUSIVE

Strictly Come Dancing's Victoria Pendleton made our eyes pop when she lashed out at partner Brendan Cole recently, saying he was hard work and like a child backstage.

Brendan Cole says Victoria Pendleton struggled. Copyright [Rex]

And now the pro dancer has exclusively defended himself, saying he struggled with the Olympian.

Speaking to Yahoo! omg! ahead of his 2013 solo tour, Brendan said of his partner: "[Victoria's] not the most natural dancer in the slightest so it was kind of the case of trying to do stuff that suited her."

Asked if it was the cyclist's nerves that got to her, Brendan told us other contestants were able to cope with that, saying: "It's a tricky one. All contestants get nervous, I was speaking to Kimberley [Walsh] who just got four 10s and on that day she was absolutely petrified she was as nervous as anything.

"So you can have contestants who are able to control [the nerves] and deal with them and still able to deliver a 40 out of 40 performance.

"And then others...[Victoria's] not a performer and she never will be. It's one of those things where you go, OK it's not gonna happen this way, let's make the most of the situation and try and do something else."

Victoria Pendleton said that Brendan was like a kid behind the scenes. Copyright [Splash]

Asked what he thought of Victoria's criticism that he was a kid behind the scenes, he told us: "I am generally [like a kid]. Too much energy, call me Tiger. always bouncing around creating trouble somewhere, having fun.

"She wasn't really that kind of person [to have fun] but hey we're all different. For the most part we did actually have a good time. It was a very intense time."

But he told us he was happy to have made Week 8 of the BBC One show - and has had more time out to focus on his tour, which this year has a James Bond theme.

He told us: "I'm really excited about it. Got a bit more time post Strictly to do the finishing touches.

"There are a couple of big Bond numbers in there - Licence To Kill and Live and Let Die. There's a big Paso Doble cape-off and a big powerful rumba.

"I wanted a very sophisticated, classy look to the show and it makes sense with 50 years of Bond. We're thinking about Adele's song [Skyfall]. There might be room for it.

"My lead girl is from the French version of Dancing With The Stars."

Brendan Cole said Victoria struggled with her nerves. Copyright [Splash]

Meanwhile he was gutted that Westlife's Nicky Byrne headed out of the competition this week, telling us: "I was gutted for Nicky. It's a tough one because you know the audience are voting and you kind of get a feeling of who's in the bottom two.

"Everyone has good dances and bad dances. It was a real shame for Nicky, I really like him, he's a top bloke and you sort of think, I would have loved him to go further because I certainly did think he had the potential to, he's actually a really good mover."

Asked whether he agreed with Nicky that judge Craig Revel Horwood was too tough on him, Brendan told us: "I think the judges were a little harsh on him. You never know with Craig, if he gets a bee in his bonnet there's no stopping him.

"I like him as a judge but perhaps he was a little tough at times on poor Nicky but he's a big boy, I'm sure he can handle it."

And with Denise Van Outen falling into the bottom two this week after her skirt got caught in her dress during Saturday night's dance, he revealed she was suffering from the perception she's had more dance training than the other contestants.

He said: "It's a shame for Denise because she is brilliant and she gets a bit of a hard time in the press
everyone in the comp at the moment have all had stage training.

"Lisa has been to acting school, you had Girls Aloud and Westlife who are absolutely performers. Yes Denise has had a bit of dance experience but she's got the disadvantage of dancing with James."

More info on Brendan Cole's tour Licence To Thrill HERE

[Related story: Victoria Pendelton's done with Strictly, wants babies]

[Related story: Nicky Byrne leaves Strictly, in dance-off with Denise Van Outen]