13/03/2020 17:16 GMT

Kevin Clifton Denies Claims Stacey Dooley Pushed Him To Quit Strictly Come Dancing

The professional dancer announced his decision to leave the BBC show last week.

Kevin Clifton has laughed off claims girlfriend Stacey Dooley had pushed him to quit Strictly Come Dancing

The professional dancer announced he was leaving the BBC ballroom show after seven years last week. 

Reports soon followed claiming Stacey – who was paired with Kevin on Strictly in 2018 – had encouraged the decision so they could become a “TV power couple”. 

After Stacey branded the claims “utter nonsense” on Twitter, Kevin also had something to say during an appearance on This Morning on Friday. 

Kevin Clifton on This Morning

He said: “It’s always the woman’s fault, like I’m incapable of making a decision.

“I did talk about it with her and she always said to me, ‘This has to be your decision. You can’t have anyone tell you what to do here. This is a big decision…’”

Kevin explained that he’d actually reached the decision after being offered his dream role in a new production of Strictly Ballroom The Musical. 

From September, he will play the lead character Scott Hastings in an adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film, which is being directed by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood.

He told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Rochelle Humes: “I said as a 10 year old, ‘One day they’re going to put that on stage and I want to play Scott Hastings, the title character.’

“I just couldn’t turn it down.”

Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images
Stacey Dooley won the show with now-boyfriend Kevin in 2018

Of leaving Strictly, he added: “I’m sort of always thinking, ‘When would be the right time to leave?’ and sort of pave the way for younger dancers coming through and I’ve done seven years on the show and felt that I’d achieved everything that I wanted to achieve.”

Addressing the claims about her being involved in Kevin’s decision last weekend, Stacey tweeted: “Honestly, we knew this would happen. And so it starts, again...... Utter nonsense.”

She then added: “‘TV power couple’. Give. Me. A. Break. These articles are so, so embarrassing.”

Kevin joined the show in 2013 with then-girlfriend Karen Hauer. The pair married in 2015, before announcing their split in 2018.

During his time on the show, Kevin was paired with Susanna Reid, Frankie Bridge, Kellie Bright, Louise Redknapp, Susan Calman, Stacey Dooley and Anneka Rice. 

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.