Rumours of Brendan Cole DYING are Strictly not true

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Brendan Cole has taken to social media to reassure fans after reports that he had died.

He has kept Strictly viewers updated on his health after he went to hospital with a lung infection last week.

But he was still unsure by Friday whether he would be able to compete in Saturday's competition with his celebrity partner, singer Anastasia.

The 40-year-old tweeted a screenshot of a news website with a story headlined: "Strictly dancer Brendan Cole has died" and wrote: "Ps ... report yesterday of me having died ... very much untrue! lol."

He said in a statement that he had taken himself to hospital hours before performing in the BBC One contest last Saturday after coming down with a bad cough, which he feared was a recurrence of the pneumonia he suffered earlier in the year.

But at least he saw the funny side...

The New Zealand-born dancer wrote on Wednesday: "On Saturday morning in the small hours, I was finding it difficult to get enough oxygen into my lungs and was getting worried that maybe my cough was turning back into what I had in February which had me in and out of hospital over three nights.

"Because of this I decided to drive myself to the A&E to get checked out and make sure it was not a serious chest infection and end up in the same situation all over again.

"I simply popped down as I needed some oxygen and my GP wasn't available at 2am. Turns out my blood/oxygen saturation was 93% so I was probably right to do so.

Brendan Cole
Looking pretty healthy! (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

"The hospital looked after me very well and I went home a few hours later, diagnosed with a minor chest infection to be delt (sic) with in the normal way."

Following his late night at the hospital, Brendan appeared on the Saturday show and successfully danced a rumba as planned, making it through to another week in the competition.

But he also responded to reports that he was left coughing and clutching his chest while talking to the judges after the dance.

He said: "During both the Saturday show and the results show, it was reported by various publications that I was clearly seen clutching at my chest in a bid to breathe. All I was trying to do was cover my microphone so as not to cough down it to a few million people watching at home - I know, I'm so considerate."

Following medical advice to rest this week, he has been temporarily replaced by dancer Gorka Marquez, who has been training with Anastasia to perform a quickstep in this weekend's show.

The pair have been thinking of him...

Brendan thanked supporters for their "lovely messages of concern" over the week and promised viewers: "Should I not be ready, Gorka and Anastacia will perform their quickstep with me cheering them on from Claudia's sofa or my own."

He added: "Let's hope Anastacia, Gorka and I can do a great job on Saturday and get ourselves through to Halloween week (which is usually my favourite of the series)."