Kevin Clifton reacts to ‘harsh’ claims partner Stacey was behind Strictly exit

Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton explained the real reason he quit the BBC show after seven years.

The professional dancer also hit back at claims his girlfriend Stacey Dooley played a part in his exit, with This Morning host Rochelle Humes calling these claims "harsh".

Kevin revealed what Strictly bosses said to him as he told them he was leaving, as he explained what drove him to leave.

As Rochelle asked him about the Stacey comments, defending the telly star, he was quick to do the same.

Insisting his decision was his and his only, he explained: "It’s always the woman’s fault, like I’m incapable of making a decision.

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"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 what to do here. This is a big decision…’”

Kevin and Stacey met on the BBC dancing series in 2018, and went on to win the show together.

While he loved the series, something else came along that has been his dream since he was a child.

It was big enough to encourage him to ditch the Strictly dancefloor, a decision he didn't make lightly.

He explained: "Something came along that has been my inspiration since I was about 10 years old.

"Basically, when I was 10 I watched the film ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and I became obsessed with it and I said at the time as a 10 year old, ‘One day they’re going to put that on stage and I want to play Scott Hastings', the title character."

Kevin went on, as he revealed the role was offered to him: "I just couldn't turn it down. It's been my life's ambition since I was 10 years old."

Speaking about leaving Strictly behind, he said there were no hard feelings but he had to do it.

Kevin said: “I've still got so much love for Strictly. It didn't come to a point where I said, ‘I want to walk away now.’ I love it and I love everyone that works on the show.”

On what bosses said to him about his exit, he said they "didn't want to stand in his way" if it was what he wanted, but said he'd "always be part of the Strictly family".

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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