Kevin Clifton was rejected twice from Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals

Last year saw Strictly Come Dancing pro Kevin Clifton lift the glitterball - but he was almost never on the show.

The professional won the 2018 season with celebrity partner Stacey Dooley.

But now revealing all about his Strictly journey, Kevin has told how he was originally rejected twice from the series as a pro dancer.

In a new Strictly documentary airing tonight on BBC One, Kevin says: "I applied with Karen [Hauer]. She got th ejob, I didn't get it."

He recalled: "I had long, black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails, 'Don't think that I'm your average ballroom dancer guys'! They said 'We'd love to take Karen but not that guy. We have no need for this Gothic scarecrow who thinks he's the rock star of the ballroom.

"Next year, I got told no again. I got turned down twice."

Kevin eventually made his debut on the show for Series 11 in 2013, finishing as runner up with Susanna Reid.

It was a result that Kevin repeated for three further series with partners Frankie Bridge, Kellie Bright and Louise Redknapp before winning with Stacey last year.

Strictly: The Professionals airs tonight on BBC One at 7PM.

Alongside Kevin, the one-off show will document the stories of fellow pros which this year include AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Kevin Clifton and Neil Jones.

They're joined by Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Clifton, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova and Oti Mabuse.

Alongside the pros, the show will also see appearances from former celebrity contestants Jeremy Vine, Ed Balls and Ann Widdecombe who will take a trip down memory lane and recall some of the astonishing highlights from their time on the show.

Strictly: The Professionals airs on BBC One on Saturday, September 14 at 7PM.

Strictly's live shows will then start next weekend on September 21.

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