Kevin Clifton reveals exactly why he quit Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals

Kevin Clifton has revealed exactly why he left Strictly Come Dancing.

Kevin announced earlier this month (March) that he was stepping down from the BBC One series after seven years.

Now Kevin has detailed his reasons for leaving the show in his podcast The Kevin Clifton Show.

He explained how he left the series in order to pursue other interests, particularly musical theatre.

"I've done so much in terms of what you can do on Strictly," said Kevin, who won the show in 2018 with celebrity partner Stacey Dooley. "If I was 23 it would be different. I’d look at Strictly and think, ‘I can stay on this for the next ten or 15 years’, but at 37 years old I was thinking, ‘I’m going to turn 38’.

"If it’s going to be a similar season to something I've already done in some way I don’t see myself doing it into my forties.

“I have got so many other interests and I was thinking, ‘I’ll have to leave at some point’.

"And I guess I was starting to question when the last series would be."

Kevin said it was securing a role in the UK tour for Strictly Ballroom The Musical was what persuaded him to quit.

"I kept an open dialogue with the producers. It was not something that came out of the blue. We were very open with each other," he explained. "The Strictly company was such awesome company to work with. They were aware a while back I was at least thinking when was the time. I was 50/50 about to go or do one more year.

"But then Strictly Ballroom came around... I saw Strictly ballroom when I was 10 years old for the first time and completely fell in love with it, became obsessed with it."

Kevin added: "Me leaving gives younger dancers the chance to come through now. Nobody is bigger than the show.”

Following Kevin's announcement earlier this month, the Strictly team said in a statement: "Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for the past seven years.

"From reaching the Final an impressive five times, to lifting the Glitterball with Stacey Dooley in 2018, he has provided the show with some fantastic moments, through his exceptional talent as a dancer and choreographer.

"He will be hugely missed by fans and by his Strictly Family. He will always be our Kevin from Grimsby."

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year.

The full professionals line up for 2020 will include, for the men, AJ Pritchard, Aljaž Škorjanec, Anton Du Beke, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, and Neil Jones. Joining them are ladies Amy Dowden, Dianne Buswell, Janette Manrara, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones, Luba Mushtuk, Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu and Oti Mabuse.

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