Strictly Come Dancing shares sweet message as Kevin Clifton quits show

Strictly Come Dancing has spoken out after Kevin Clifton announced he was quitting the show.

The 37-year-old announced the news on Instagram, in alengthy statement.

And, shortly after the news broke, the BBC show shared astatement on Twitter, praising the ‘brilliant’ professional dancer.

‘Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for thepast seven years,’ it read.

‘From reaching the final an impressive five times, tolifting the Glitterball with Stacey Dooley in 2018, he has provided the showwith some fantastic moments, through his exceptional talent as a dancer andchoreographer.

‘He will be hugely missed by fans and by his Strictly family.

Kevin has been a major part of the Strictly family for the last seven years, and won the show back in 2018 with current girlfriend Stacey.

Confirming his departure on social media, he told fans: ‘Thepast 7 years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life. I amgrateful to the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing for giving me the opportunity tohave 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 glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley.

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To the entire Strictly family, The past 7 years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life. 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 glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley. After finishing last series with the Children In Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career. I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all of my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have made always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for. Thank you to anyone who has ever voted for me and my partners. It means the world. And a special thank you to Jason Gilkison for always believing in me. To me Strictly always has been and always will be the best show on tv and has been an absolute dream and honour to be a part of. Pre 2013 I used to watch every week. Now I look forward to returning to being a fan and cheering on my friends who keep dancing. Kevin Clifton

A post shared by Kevin Clifton (@keviclifton) on

‘After finishing last series with the Children In Needtrophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have thereforedecided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life andcareer.

‘I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every dayas well as all of my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes havemade always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to workfor.

‘Thank you to anyone who has ever voted for me and mypartners. It means the world.

‘And a special thank you to Jason Gilkison for always believing in me.’

He continued: ‘To me Strictly always has been and alwayswill be the best show on tv and has been an absolute dream and honour to be apart of.

‘Pre 2013 I used to watch every week. Now I look forward to returning to being a fan and cheering on my friends who keep dancing.’

Following his announcement, a proud Stacey rushed to praise the pro.

Flocking to the comments underneath, she wrote: ‘I could burst pride. Undeniably the most successful pro on Strictly.

‘Won everything, treated everyone with respect and kindness, worked SO bloody hard and now, leaving on a high.

‘You will always be the King of Strictly.’

Former partner Susanna Reid was also among those paying tribute to Kevin, commenting: ‘From your first, thank you – and congratulations on being such an incredible part of the show.’

‘Massive congratulations Kev. The world is yours xxx,’ Daisy Lowe posted.

While judge Motsi Mabuse penned: ‘Good luck for your new journey! Your presence is so unique! You were always 100% committed! All the best and you will definitely be missed.’

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Ore Oduba – who claimed the Strictly crown in 2016 – added: ‘Once a champ (FOUR TIMES a champ!) always a champ.. What an amazing 7 years and so much still to come!!!

‘Couldn’t be prouder Kev. Superstar.’

Kevin first graced the Strictly dancefloor all the way backin 2013, joining his now ex-wife Karen Hauer on the show.

He smashed his debut, partnering up with Good MorningBritain’s Susanna Reid, and came second in the competition.

The BBC favourite went on to be a runner-up with FrankieBridge, Kellie Bright and Louise Redknapp.

Kevin was finally victorious in 2018’s series, when he tookhome the Glitterball trophy with Stacey Dooley.

Sadly his success wasn’t to last, and he was the second actto be booted off last year’s show, alongside Anneka Rice.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to screens later this year.

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