Why has Kevin Clifton quit Strictly Come Dancing?

The pro-dancer has left the show after seven years

Kevin Clifton

After seven years on Strictly Come Dancing, Kevin Clifton announced on 6th March that he was leaving the dancing show.

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Sharing a statement on Instagram, he revealed that the “time has come to move on” as he recalled some of his most memorable moments on the show.

This included “being called ‘Kevin From Grimsby’ by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013” and winning in 2018 with documentary presenter and his now girlfriend, Stacey Dooley.

So, why did Kevin decide to put down his dancing shoes after all these years?

Here’s everything we know about his exit from the show…

Why did Kevin quit Strictly?

It seems the ballroom dancer is moving on to pastures new, as he revealed he’d be focusing on “other” areas of his life and career.

As he thanked the BBC and his fellow pro-dancers for “inspiring” him, he said: “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.”

View this post on Instagram

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

What will Kevin be doing now?

The 37-year-old didn’t reveal too many details about his new venture, however, he’s currently working on West End live show Burn The Floor with his sister Joanne Clifton.

From 2008 to June 2013, Clifton and his ex wife Karen Hauer were principal dancers of the Burn The Floor Dance Company, which is a live dance show which has been performed around the world.

Kevin later rejoined the show with some of his Strictly alumni, including Italian heart throb Graziano Di Prima and the humble Johannes Radebe.

He’ll be touring the UK with Joanne, 36, from March 26 to May 24.

Burn The Floor 2013 (Getty Images)

When did Kevin join Strictly?

Kevin joined the BBC One series as a pro dancer back in 2013. He was partnered with Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid and they finished as runners-up behind model Abbey Clancy.

He had previously auditioned for the show with Karen, but they only needed a female dancer at the time, so he was instead employed as a choreographer for the show in 2012.

Kevin has been pretty successful on the dancing show, coming second four times in a row with Susanna, The Saturdays singer Frankie Bridge, EastEnders actress Kellie Bright, and singer Louise Redknapp.

He came in 7th place with Scottish Comedian Susan Calman in 2017,  and eventually won the Glitterball the year later with Stacey.

Unfortunately, he only made it to the 14th spot last year with presenter Anneka Rice.

Stacey Dooley, Kevin Clifton, Strictly (BBC)

A spokesperson for Strictly Come Dancing wrote on Instagram: “Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for the past seven years.

“From reaching the final an impressive five times, to lifting the Glitterball with Stacey Dooley in 2018, he has provided the show with some fantastic moments, through his exceptional talent as a dancer and choreographer.

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“He will be hugely missed by fans and by his Strictly family. He will always be our Kevin from Grimsby.”