Strictly’s Kevin Clifton: ‘It’s horrible when you feel the press are going for you’

Strictly’s Kevin Clifton: ‘It’s horrible when you feel the press are going for you’

July 21, 2020

After his triumph on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 with now girlfriend Stacey Dooley, ‘Kevin from Grimsby’ was king of the ballroom world. Then he quit the show. Has lockdown tempted him back?

Kevin Clifton is painting a picture of what it was like to be a champion ballroom dancer as a schoolboy. “I’m the kid who is turning up on Monday morning … one of the shortest kids in the year. With an orange neck from a competition in Birmingham. And I look like this because I do ballroom dancing. With my sister. Who is in the year below me. And I’m at the age when girls grow a bit faster than boys. So she is a bit taller than me at this point. So Mum and Dad have decided that it’s a good idea for me to have a perm so that my hair stands up a bit, and I look taller. And then the school says: ‘Will you do a dance in assembly?’ And I say: ‘Er, all right. I’ll do a dance in my sparkly shirt and my makeup with my sister from the year below.’

“All I wanted was to be on the football team. You learn to take the mick out of yourself. Which is, I suppose, how I became ‘Kevin from Grimsby’.”

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