Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton, 37, has revealed he pulled some strings to get partnered up with Stacey Dooley, 33, on the BBC series. The ballroom and Latin dancer made the admission in the latest episode of his podcast, The Kevin Clifton Show, which he hosted alongside his now-girlfriend.
Kevin explained he called in a favour with Strictly’s director of choreography Jason Gilkison to attempt to secure his pairing with the documentary filmmaker in 2018.
Jason and Kevin had previously worked together on ballroom dance stage show Burn the Floor and the latter had performed in the production in spite of his painful injury in a bid to make the move to Broadway.
Kevin, who has revealed he was a big fan of Stacey’s documentaries at the time, recalled: “Once I heard that you [Stacey] were doing it, I went over to Jason Gilkison and I was like, ‘Remember that time in Burn the Floor when I had broken shins and all these stress fractures in my shins and it was the difference between Burn the Floor going bust or going to Broadway and you said you needed us to be on stage that night and I said, ‘Yes I’ll do it and take loads of ibuprofen and go on stage’.
“And I went over to Jason that day when I found out you were doing Strictly and I was like, ‘Remember that time, what I did for you?’ And he was like, ‘What do you want?’
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Elsewhere in the podcast, Stacey managed to let a surprising secret slip, as she revealed professional dancer Neil Jones had informed Kevin that she had signed up to the show.
Kevin revealed: “I’m going to rehearsals in August and we’re all going, ‘Come on, just tell me who had tryouts!’
“And we’re not really supposed to say but then I caught wind that you’d been tried out.”
Stacey then remarked: “Yeah because Neil told you.”