‘It’s always the woman’s fault!’ Kevin Clifton hits back at Strictly fans who blamed his girlfriend Stacey Dooley for his shock departure from the show
Kevin Clifton, above, is seen in his costume for Strictly Ballroom The Musical
Kevin Clifton has hit back at claims that his girlfriend Stacey Dooley encouraged him to quit Strictly Come Dancing in his first television interview since quitting the show.
The British dancer, 37, told Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes on Friday’s This Morning that he did speak to his girlfriend about quitting the show, but it was his decision to say goodbye after seven years in the ballroom.
Kevin also admitted that he decided to quit when he was offered his dream part in the stage musical Strictly Ballroom, and insisted that he wanted to leave the BBC show before he reached the point when he would want to quit.
Last week it was reported that Stacey had encouraged Kevin to quit Strictly so that they could cash in big money TV projects.
But the pro laughed off these claims during his interview, saying: ‘I know, it’s always the woman’s fault isn’t it like I’m incapable of making the decision.
It was his call: Clifton has hit back at claims that his girlfriend Stacey Dooley encouraged him to quit Strictly Come Dancing in his first television interview since quitting the show
‘I did talk about it with her and she always said to me this has to be your decision you can’t have anyone tell you to make this decision, it’s for you.’
On his decision to quit Strictly, Kevin told Eamonn and Rochelle: ‘Well I’m always thinking about when would be the right time to leave and pave the way for younger dancers to come through, and it’s been seven years now and I felt I achieved everything I was going to achieve.
Supportive: The dancer admitted he and Stacey did discuss the prospect of him quitting the show, but it was his decision after landing his dream West End role
Speaking out: Kevin was a guest on Friday’s This Morning to reveal he’d landed a role in the musical adaptation of Strictly Ballroom
‘Something came along that meant that I wanted to go, Strictly Ballroom I watched it as a 10-year-old and I always said I would go on stage and play the part.
Kevin insisted that his decision to leave Strictly wasn’t taken lightly, but he couldn’t turn down the chance to play his dream role.
Exciting: He told Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes that it was a dream come true landing the role after first watching the film at the age of 10
Time to go: Explaining his decision to leave the show Kevin said: ”I’ve still got so much love for Strictly it didn’t come to a point where I thought ”oh I want to walk away”
He said: ‘I’ve still got so much love for Strictly it didn’t come to a point where I thought ”oh I want to walk away.” I love it and I love everyone on the show when I talked about people about it I said ”can I leave it?”
‘This is my life’s ambition can I leave Strictly? It’s a scary thing but the tagline for Strictly Ballroom is ”a life lived in fear is a life half lived” so I took it to heart.’
Kevin hinted that he would never rule out returning to the Strictly ballroom for a special, and said he ended things on good terms with the show bosses.
Will you be back? Kevin hinted that he would never rule out returning to the Strictly ballroom for a special, and said he ended things on good terms with the show bosses
Transformed: Kevin also insisted that he still believed he could appear on Strictly in his 30s, but did have to change his lifestyle to keep up with the gruelling schedule
He said: ‘Oh who knows! I’ve still got a lovely relationship with Strictly, they were so brilliant when I talked with the producers and said this is a dream role for me and they said they didn’t want to stand in my way. It was on good terms.
‘I’m looking forward to watching the show as a fan, I used to do that. hopefully I’m paving the way for younger dancers to come through.’
Kevin made his debut on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013, and went onto reach the final four times before being crowned champion with Stacey in 2018.
Casual: Kevin left fans devastated when he announced that he had quit Strictly after seven years on the show
Last year he finished in 14th place with presenter Anneka Rice, though did stand in for pro Neil Jones as a partner to Alex Scott for several weeks.
When asked whether he thinks he was too old to appear on Strictly, Kevin admitted that he did change his lifestyle in recent years to keep up with the show’s gruelling schedule.
He explained: ‘Look at Anton and he’s still going, so it is doable I suppose.
‘Some of my habits have changed I’m slightly more interested in my diet, I don’t drink anymore whereas when I was in my 20s you just feel like you’re invincible, you party all night and you’d be fine but I couldn’t do that now.’
Working hard: Elsewhere some of Strictly’s pros were showing off their football skills in Manchester ahead of Sport Relief this weekend
Kevin is also set to go back on the road with his sister and fellow Strictly champion Joanne for this year’s Burn The Floor tour, and despite numerous shows being cancelled by the coronavirus, he said it should still be going ahead.
He told Eamonn and Rochelle: ‘Yeah I mean we’re going straight into rehearsals from here, as far as we know we’re going ahead and its exciting. We wait for news daily, so we hope it’ll go ahead. you just don’t know.’
Kevin added that the virus has already wreaked havoc with his and Stacey’s travel planned, as he had originally booked a trip to Rome for their birthday.
Energetic: Oti – who won Strictly last year – displayed her incredible skills as she fired footballs into the goals
Excited: Curtis Pritchard was also on the pitch for the sporting game, ahead of the Sport Relief telethon on Friday
Fun: His brother AJ took to the pitch after it was confirmed that he would be returning for another series of Strictly later this year
He said: ‘Yeah we had it planned for ages that we would go to Rome for a couple of days and as it got closer and news got worse, I said I don’t think this is a risk worth taking.
‘I booked a rip to Portugal instead which is just as well that I didn’t because I would still be in Rome now.’
Elsewhere in London, some of Strictly’s biggest stars were showing off their skills in a penalty shoot-out in aid of Sport Relief.
Among them were reigning champion Oti Mabuse, along with AJ Pritchard and his brother Curtis, who all displayed their skills at the shoot-out at MediaCity in Manchester.
This Morning airs on weekdays at 10am on ITV.
Stop it coming! Curtis channelled his inner goalkeeper for the charity shoot=out
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