Kevin Clifton Has An Alternative Theory About Jacqui Smith's Early Strictly Come Dancing Exit

The former home secretary and partner Anton DuBeke were the first couple to be voted off the BBC show.

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton has spoken out about the show’s lack of studio audience, believing it “doesn’t have that same effect”.

The BBC ballroom show has had to adapt due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, beginning the series with a small socially-distanced audience, prior to lockdown causing it to go ahead without any at all.

Kevin also said he believes that former home secretary Jacqui Smith and partner Anton DuBeke might not have become the first couple to be voted off if there had been a full studio audience.

Kevin Clifton
Kevin Clifton
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Speaking to The Sun, Kevin said: “It does not have that same effect in the studio.

“I think there have been numbers that I have seen where people react in the studio and they have just gone off at the end of the number and Tess [Daly] is trying to talk and they are still clapping and stamping their feet and there is a second wave of applause.

“The overall feel of the number then, whatever the judges say, at that point is that we all loved it.

“I do think people sat at home, people will feel that noise that is happening in the studio.”

Kevin, who quit Strictly after seven years in March, added: “If that had happened for Jacqui and Anton they might have become everyone’s favourite, as it was so out there.”

Kevin was part of Strictly Come Dancing for seven years
Kevin was part of Strictly Come Dancing for seven years
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Saturday’s movie special of Strictly marked the first time there has not been a studio audience in its 16-year history.

The BBC previously said that audiences will not be invited back into the ballroom until early December should it be permitted to do so under government guidance.

Prior to lockdown, audience members had been seated in household groups of four, with each group sat at least two metres away from one another.

This had already reduced the usual capacity in the studio from around 600 to approximately 100 people.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.10pm on BBC One.

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