27/11/2017 08:47 GMT | Updated 27/11/2017 08:48 GMT

'Strictly Come Dancing': Kevin Clifton Apologises To Wife Karen For Marriage Strain In Exit Speech

Reports had claimed the couple hadn't been getting on lately.

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ professional Kevin Clifton has issued an apology to wife Karen for being difficult to live with, following reports of strain on their marriage.

After he and Susan Calman were voted off the BBC ballroom show on Sunday (26 November), Kevin used his exit speech to thank Karen for “putting up with him”. 

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Karen and Kevin Clifton

Kevin said: “When ‘Strictly’ is on I’m not the easiest person to live with, I go a bit mad so I’d like to say first of all thanks to my wife for putting up with me.”

Going on to thank Susan for her dedication and friendship, he continued: “I’d like to say thank you to ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and echoing everything that Susan said about everyone on it because I think in a world where not everything going on at the moment is always nice, ‘Strictly’ is the one thing that brings a lot of joy and happiness into the world through the wonderful thing that is dance. And I think Susan you’ve been the absolute epitome of joy and happiness throughout this whole competition, which in my eyes, makes you a beautiful dancer.

“So thank you for dancing with me and thanks for being my friend.”

Kevin and Susan exited 'Strictly' on Sunday

Kevin’s words come after a report in the weekend papers that claimed the couple were not getting on. 

Speaking to The Sun, he also added: “Strictly’s a hard few weeks for everyone and Karen and I have found this year’s particularly hard as we have been in different places since the start — with her in Manchester and now London and me in Glasgow.”

Karen had partnered Simon Rimmer on this year’s series, but were the fifth couple to be eliminated last month. 

Karen was partnered with Simon Rimmer this year

This year will also mark the first time Kevin has not made the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ final since joining the show in 2013. 

He finished as one of the runners-up with Susanna Reid in his first year, and replicated his success with Frankie Bridge in 2014, Kellie Bright in 2015 and with Louise Redknapp last year. 

The six remaining couples will take to the floor again in Saturday’s quarter final, which will have a musicals theme. 

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ continues on Saturday at 7.05pm on BBC One. 

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