Kevin Clifton details ‘nightmare’ career news after quitting Strictly ‘It was hard’

Strictly: Stacey Dooley crowned winner in 2018

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Kevin Clifton, 39, previously worked as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing between 2013-2019, winning the show with Stacey Dooley, 34, in his penultimate year. Unfortunately, the dancer received some disappointing news about his future shortly after quitting the show. 

Kevin has now discussed the shocking moment with former dance partner and now girlfriend, Stacey, on her 5 Live podcast, Fresh Starts. 

The performer described how his career was completely hijacked by the pandemic, which left him out of work for over a year. 

He explained: “I’d just left the show [Strictly] and sort of made this announcement and I knew that I was going into Strictly Ballroom, the musical, and that was happening soon. 

“That was going at about the same time Strictly was starting that year and then I got told that it had to be moved on a year because of COVID.”

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Addressing partner Stacey he continued: “Remember that night where my agent called me and said, ‘Look, this is a nightmare, what’s happening with COVID. They have taken the decision to open in September 2022’?

“That was a real difficult moment, wasn’t it? I was going, ‘Right, as I sit here, right now, I’ve got nothing until September 22 in the diary…’

“A couple of months pass, theatres aren’t opening. It’s not looking like they’re going to open any time soon,” he continued. 

“I’ve left the biggest TV show to do this, and now… I’m sat on the sofa doing nothing.”

Kevin and Stacey began dating shortly after they won Strictly Come Dancing together. 

While the documentary presenter was on the show, she was still in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend Sam Tucknott, who she’d been dating for five years.

During her podcast, Stacey also recalls how she “felt for” her out-of-work boyfriend during the pandemic, as she was able to continue working with her small TV production crew. 

Kevin agreed that having no work to do made him feel “a bit redundant” and that having too much time on his hands also felt “strange”. 

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Stacey added that Kevin did have some “wobbly” moments and admitted that she feared the usually very active performer would “drive himself nuts” sitting at home. 

However, now Kevin has started a brand new chapter in his career, landing a lead role as Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain. 

The star can be seen singing and dancing on stage at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Angel, London. 

Performing alongside Kevin is Steps singer and former Strictly finalist Faye Tozer, who plays Lina Lamont – an amusing piece of casting given that the character is supposed to have a terrible voice. 

Before his role in Singin’ in the Rain, Kevin previously performed in the Rock of Ages theatre tour as Stacee Jaxx. 

Kevin’s sister Joanne Clifton, who also previously starred as a professional dancer on Strictly, has also found success in the world of theatre. 

In 2017 she played the title role of Millie Dillmount in the UK tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Now she is rehearsing for her latest show, The Addams Family musical, in which she will play the iconic role of Morticia Addams on a tour around the country.

New episodes of Stacey Dooley’s 5 Live podcast, Fresh Starts, will be released every Tuesday, exclusively on BBC Sounds.

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