“I’ve been a fan of Stacey for a few years. I’ve watched loads of her documentaries and I think all her work is really good,” Clifton tells Radio Times.
“I think it was about a year ago, maybe two years ago, I actually tweeted Stacey after her one of her documentaries to say ‘oh I really enjoyed that, it’s really important stuff that you’re doing’ and she tweeted back saying ‘oh yeah, thanks very much’,” Clifton recalls. He then tweeted her about another project and when she responded he claims he “turned into a little fangirl”.
“I was showing everyone, I was like Stacey Dooley tweeted me back, and I saved it and I was showing everybody,” he laughs.
Clifton was in professional dancer rehearsals for the series when it was revealed that Dooley was taking part and says he was very excited to see her name pop up.
“I’ll be honest, I made no secret of the fact to the producers of the show and was like ‘if there’s any chance I could be partnered with Stacey that would be wicked because I’m a big fan'”, he confesses.
Dooley, who’s taking a little break from the world of current affairs to strut her stuff on the dancefloor, says her friends and family are very excited that she’s been partnered up with Kevin. Now she’s just hoping she can help him make it to his fifth Strictly final.
“Of course I want to win it,” she says, “I don’t want to go out first! If I go out first I’m emigrating”.
Meet the stars of Strictly Come Dancing 2018 in the Radio Times Strictly special edition, on sale from Tuesday 18th September