Kevin Clifton admits Stacey Dooley ‘kept him going’ as Strictly was ‘difficult’ to watch

Strictly: Kevin Clifton discusses ‘rules’ on series

Kevin Clifton, 38, has opened up on how he feels about his decision to quit Strictly Come Dancing after the coronavirus pandemic got in the way of his bid to launch a theatre career. The professional dancer announced he was leaving the BBC show after seven years earlier this year in order to take on his dream role in Strictly Ballroom, which then had to be rescheduled because of the virus.

Kevin has now admitted that spending time with his girlfriend Stacey Dooley, 33, during lockdown “kept him going”, as he was dealt several “knockbacks” after planning new projects and having to cancel them.

The star also revealed he found Strictly “difficult” to watch this year after moving on from the programme.

Kevin explained: “Obviously it was difficult when all the theatre went away this year and I’m sat at home watching [Strictly Come Dancing] – but I still feel it was the right time. 

“But fingers crossed that 2021 is going to be a version of what 2020 was supposed to be – for everyone in the world!”

READ MORE… Stacey Dooley got telling off from Kevin Clifton mid-dance on Strictly

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On what helped him cope during lockdown, he divulged: “Me and my girlfriend decided we were going to watch all the episodes of The Royle Family right from the beginning. 

“And we just laughed so much at it. It’s things like that that kept me going, to be honest.”

The ballroom and Latin dancer also reflected on being forced to cancel his tour of An Evening With Kevin And Joanne with his sister Joanne Clifton due to lockdown rules changing.

He added to the Huffington Post: “I suppose there were a couple of things here and there where you drag yourself away from the PlayStation for a minute, fight to get a project going and it gets to the point where you feel really awesome, and it gets cancelled. 

 

“That’s what gets you down, and there’ve been a few things here and there where you start to feel really good about doing something and then there’s just another knockback.

“We did a night on tour of An Evening With Kevin And Joanne, and just before one of the shows, we were watching TV, when Boris Johnson announced we were going back into lockdown.”

Kevin continued to recall: “And I’m literally getting my mic on, getting my outfit on, standing in the wings, and there’s a producer there, and I’m going ‘what does this mean, what does this mean for us, what does it mean for the show?’. 

“And they say ‘we’re going to have to stop for a month tomorrow night’ – and then, right, on stage, ‘good evening everybody!’. 

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“It’s those moments that are the most difficult.”

Kevin won Strictly in 2018 with his now-girlfriend and documentary filmmaker Stacey.

He reached all but two of the finals during his seven years on the show.

Elsewhere, Kevin recalled telling Stacey off mid-dance on Strictly after she cursed live on-air.

Speaking on his self-titled podcast, he admitted: “There was a bit in the middle where she went wrong and underneath her breath she swore,” he chuckled.

“You know it’s live but you can forget yourself!”

Kevin then reassured listeners that no one heard her bad language because luckily the mic had been turned down while the couple performed.

“Underneath her breath she went, ‘Oh f**k!’ and I said to her, ‘Don’t swear on the BBC!'”

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