Entertainment

Kevin Clifton will not rule out Strictly Come Dancing return

The professional dancer won the dancing competition in 2018 alongside Stacey Dooley.

Former Strictly Come Dancing winner Kevin Clifton has not ruled out a return to the dancing series.

The professional dancer, 38, won the dancing competition in 2018 alongside documentary maker and now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley.

After seven years on the BBC One show, he left after series 17 in 2019 and is now pursuing a career in musical theatre.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
Clifton won series 16 with now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley (Guy Levy/BBC)

While speaking on ITV’s Loose Women, Clifton said: “I love Strictly Come Dancing and it’s been a massive part of my life, I did it for seven years and I still love it.

“And there’s still a part of me that sort of says ‘never say never’ about going back to it, maybe even a different role, who knows.

“But for now everything’s theatre for me.”

Fellow professional dancer Anton Du Beke is joining the judging panel on the upcoming series as regular judge Bruno Tonioli is unable to take part due to travel uncertainty resulting from the pandemic.

When panellist Gloria Hunniford teasingly commented that Du Beke might just be keeping the judging seat warm for Clifton, he replied: “If he wants to move aside or if any of the others want to move aside at any point, I will happily be a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.”

Strictly Come Dancing 2018
He was a professional dancer on the show for seven years (Guy Levy/BBC)

When shown a clip of Dooley and himself dancing on Strictly, Clifton said: “It’s such a lovely memory actually, it’s really nice to watch back, it gives me little goosebumps.”

He said the pair had “got on really well” during the show and she had asked to do extra hours of rehearsals after they had a difficult start and received some low scores from the judging panel – they later went on to win the series.

Clifton also credited Dooley with helping him land his dream role as Cosmo in the hit musical theatre show Singin’ In The Rain, as they watched it on Christmas Day and she encouraged him that he would be perfect for the role.

The professional dancer split from his former Strictly Come Dancing co-star Karen Hauer in 2018 after three years of marriage.

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