'Strictly Come Dancing' bosses are said to be "really struggling" to find a 6ft-plus dancer to replace axed Brendan Cole.

Brendan Cole and Anastacia

Brendan Cole and Anastacia

Producers are said to be finding it "trickier than expected" to track down someone to take the place of the 6ft 1inch pro - who was let go from the ballroom and Latin show after 15 years - but they need to seek out a tall performer to match up with a potential towering celebrity partner.

A 'Strictly' source said: "Bosses need a tall dancer to pair up with taller females like Charlotte Hawkins on the show but have been really struggling to find one.

"Many of the show's professionals may look tall and hunky on screen, but in reality they're often a lot shorter.

"Most ballroom dancers are naturally shorter than most average men so it's proving trickier than expected."

Despite their apparent struggles, show bosses are said to still have a few candidates on their shortlist.

The source added to The Sun newspaper: "Producers are still sifting through the pile and hope they find the right candidate in time. They have a few people in mind."

Following news of Brendan's exit, 'Strictly' dancer Anton Du Beke has admitted the 41-year-old star will be "missed" on the programme.

He said: "We're going to miss Brendan, he's such a big part of the show and has been for the past 15 years.

"The show rolls on."

What's more, former head judge Len Goodman has said he thought Brendan was right to speak out against the panellists if he ever disagreed with their decisions.

Asked if he ever thought Brendan - one of the show's original pros - was "too naughty" or "too tricky", Len recently said: "I don't think he was.

"I always thought the pros should defend their celebrities. If you're not careful, you can come across as a bit of a bully, picking on people that can't defend themselves.

"So I think it's admirable to say, 'I can't agree with you on that'. Maybe he went a tad over the top with it, but no, I think it's good that the pros defend their partners."