In an exclusive chat with RadioTimes.com, the 35-year-old said that the veteran pro was “definitely” going to be missed – and that she’s still waiting to hear whether she’s going to be part of the professional line-up for Strictly 2018.
“It’s always a shock when someone doesn’t come back to the show,” Karen said. “Having Len [Goodman] leave last year and having Brendan not coming back this year… it’s going to be really sad. I have no idea what the reasons are but I thought he was a great pro to have throughout the years.
“He’s like the big brother,” she added. “He was the one who took care of all of us and guided us and we saw all of his mistakes and learnt from them – in a good way! He was a great part of the show and he’s definitely going to be missed.”
Karen also said that she would “love” to be part of Strictly this year – her seventh consecutive series as a show professional.
“I love coming back every year so hopefully they do ask me back,” she said. “As long as they’ll have me, I’ll be there.
“We’re only contracted for a year so we wait around and clear out our schedules, but Strictly is the most important thing for us,” she explained. “Nothing else matters. Strictly matters for us and that’s our priority. We love the show because it’s a family show, it’s a great entertainment show and everybody absolutely adores it. So why wouldn’t you want to wait around for it?”
Before Strictly returns in the autumn, Karen and her husband Kevin Clifton are heading out on tour in May with a new dance show.
“Preparations are going well,” explained Karen. “It’s going to be a completely different show from last year – Kevin’s on the Strictly tour right now and I’m home taking care of the tour and all the preparations for it. We’re just casting everything and putting all the music together so it’s very exciting.”
Asked if she would have also liked to be a part of the Strictly Come Dancing tour, which is currently making its way around the country, Karen said: “Only if Simon [Rimmer – her celebrity partner] would’ve done it. I would’ve loved to.
“But it was nice that I actually got to stay home. I have our little dog Betty to take care of and we have our dance schools with our kids so I’m taking care of all of that as well and I just wanted to stay home! It was nice – I haven’t had a rest in two years. I was like ‘Let Kevin work!’. I can cook, I can sleep in my bed, I can wake up whenever. It’s lovely, there’s nothing like being at home!”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 in the autumn