14/08/2017 09:02 BST | Updated 14/08/2017 09:14 BST

'Strictly Come Dancing' 2017: Karen Clifton Wants To Put Last Year's 'Difficult' Series Behind Her

'Whenever you’re on the show you’re hoping you’ll get someone who wants to be there.'

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ professional Karen Clifton has reflected on the “difficult time” she had on the show last year, following the departure of celebrity partner Will Young.

Last year, Karen had to bow out of the show early, when the ‘Leave Right Now’ singer announced that he was stepping down from the show, for what he later described as a “number” of personal reasons.

Looking ahead, Karen has revealed her hopes for the upcoming new series of ‘Strictly’, telling the Daily Star: “[Last year] was a difficult time. This series I’m just hoping for a partner that’s fun and wants a good time and who will enjoy the journey - and be there.”

Karen Clifton and Will Young

She continued: “Whenever you’re on the show you’re hoping you’ll get someone who wants to be there.

“‘Strictly’ is so loved and you want someone who is keen to learn and is ready for a new adventure.”

Will was full of praise for Karen when he first decided to quit, insisting in his statement at the time: “I have found a creative partnership with Karen that has been the most wonderful thing to experience.

“I will be eternally grateful to her for her direction, talent and guiding me through three wonderful dances that I will be able to show my grandkids in years to come.”

In the months that followed, he elaborated slightly on his reasons for quitting the show, explaining: “It was important for me to leave ‘Strictly’ for my own wellbeing.

“It was a number of things. It was nothing to do with the people on the show, and it certainly wasn’t because Len Goodman dissed my salsa – I mean, come on!

“I love dance, and because of the stuff that was going on personally, I just wasn’t enjoying the dancing.”

‘Strictly’ bosses have now begun announcing this year’s celebrity line-up, which so far includes The Saturdays singer Mollie King, ITV daytime star Ruth Langsford, popstar-turned-reverend Richard Coles‘EastEnders’ hunk Davood Ghadami and chef and ‘Sunday Brunch’ host Simon Rimmer.

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