Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton, 37, shocked fans of the show by announcing he has left the show after seven years. Today, his fellow pro Katya Jones said she was surprised by the news.
It was a surprise for all of us
Speaking at the Tric Awards today, she said: “I was shocked and had no idea. It was a surprise for all of us.”
Despite being shocked by the news, the professional dancer said she is excited to see what’s to come for him.
She added to the Daily Mail: “But I love to see our professionals do other things.
“It’s exciting. He has so many passions and I’m really happy for him.”
Katya Jones claimed the pros didn’t know Kevin Clifton had plans to quit Strictly Come Dancing
Kevin Clifton left Strictly Come Dancing after seven years on the show
Kevin, who is dating Stacey Dooley, announced news of his departure from the show on his social media pages last week.
He wrote: “I am grateful to the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing for giving me the opportunity to have been a part of something truly special.”
“Since first being called ‘Kevin From Grimsby’ by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013 I have experienced the highs of 5 finals, winning a Guinness World record on It Takes Two, the Strictly Arena tour glitter ball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley.
“After finishing the last series with the Children in Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided that the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.”
Katya Jones: Strictly Come Dancing pro said she was ‘shocked’ by Kevin Clifton’s announcement
Kevin Clifton said he will focus on ‘other areas’ of his career after leaving Strictly Come Dancing
He went on to thank his fellow pros and celebrity partners for “inspiring me every day”.
He added: “The whole team behind the scenes have always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for.”
Days before announcing his news, Kevin Clifton admitted he didn’t see himself being on the show by the time he’s 40.
Speaking on Katie Piper’s podcast Extraordinary people, he said: “It [Leaving the show] has to happen at some point, I don’t see myself doing this when I’m 40.”
The professional dancer went on to say he didn’t want to be on the show for as long as Anton Du Beke, 53, is.
“I mean, well Anton Du Beke is there, he’s an exception to the rule isn’t he,” he added.
“I don’t see myself doing that when I’m the same age as Anton, he obviously just loves it and wants to carry on doing it.”
In the same interview, he said he has been meeting up with television writers to create his own drama about Ballroom dancing.
He said: “There are some things that I really want to do that will mean I need to take some time off and not accept a few jobs.
“I want to write a TV drama, I’m meeting with a few writers at the moment about the Ballroom competition world,” he admitted.
Last year, Katya hit the headlines after sources claimed she was no longer a part of the main line-up after being pictured kissing her former dance partner Seann Walsh.
Despite the claims, she was partnered up with BBC Breakfast star Mike Bushell.
The dancing duo became the seventh pair to leave the show, which was won by Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse.