Kevin Clifton details ‘two reasons’ for quitting Strictly

Strictly: Kevin Clifton discusses his exit from show

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Speaking on Tuesday’s The One Show, the dancer said there were two reasons he left BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing after appearing as a professional in seven series between 2013 and 2019. He admitted to hosts Alex Jones and Ronan Keating he “couldn’t hang on forever” but added he wanted to take part in an opportunity that had been “30 years in the making” for him.

Joining him on The One Show sofa was Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood and former contestant and EastEnders star Maisie Smith.

The three are taking part in Strictly Ballroom the Musical, with Craig directing and choreographing.

Host Ronan asked Maisie about her experience with singing as she takes on the new project.

“We’ve obviously seen you act in EastEnders, have you been singing for a long time?” he inquired.

“Yeah, just at home in the shower – but I’ve always loved writing songs,” the Tiffany Butcher star replied.

“But this is a completely different kettle of fish. The music is phenomenal.

“The songs are beautiful, we’ve got really lovely duets and I feel like it’s going quite well.”

Co-host Alex Jones added: “And lots of people won’t know, Kevin, that you’ve done a lot of Westend work.”

She continued: “But this project in particular really appealed to you, didn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Kevin confirmed, before going on to explain his motives for waving goodbye to the Strictly dancefloor.

“Well I’ll tell you the truth,” he remarked. “When I left Strictly Come Dancing, reason number one was I couldn’t hang on forever.

“Reason number two was that I got offered this part in Strictly Ballroom.

“I’d seen the film when I was about 10 years old, and I said at the time to my mum and dad – because it inspired me so much to go into Ballroom –  I said, ‘One day this is going to be on the stage and I want to play Scott Hastings, the main character.'”

He added excitedly: “That’s when I was 10, I’m going to be 40 in October! So it’s been 30 years in the making of my dream to do this.”

Kevin enjoyed years on Strictly before deciding to call it a day and announce he’d be moving on.

Maisie took part in the 2020 series of Strictly Come Dancing alongside Gorka Márquez.

The actress eventually earned herself a place in the final and finished in second place.

Kevin won the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley, who is now his partner.

The couple recently announced they are expecting their first baby.

The One Show airs weekdays from 7pm on BBC One and Strictly Come Dancing is set to return to BBC One for the launch show on September 10.

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