Strictly Come Dancing Pro Kevin Clifton Reveals He Was Turned Down By The Show Twice Before Landing Job

Kevin auditioned with ex-wife Karen Hauer, admitting: "She got the job, I didn't..."

Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton has revealed he was turned down by the BBC on two separate occasions before finally landing a spot on the show.

Kevin joined Strictly for its 11th series in 2013, but revealed during an appearance on the one-off show The Professionals that he’d actually auditioned twice before eventually landing the job.

Speaking to fellow pro dancer Aljaž Skorjanec, Kevin recalled: “I applied with Karen [Hauer, his ex-wife]. She got the job, I didn’t get it… I had long, black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails… ‘don’t think that I’m your average ballroom dancer, guys’!

“They said, ‘we’d love to take Karen, but not that guy. We have no need for this gothic scarecrow who thinks he’s the rock star of the ballroom’.”

Kevin Clifton
Kevin Clifton
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Undeterred, Kevin auditioned again the following year, alongside Aljaž and his wife Janette Manrara, but was turned down once again.

You and Jeanette both got the job, I got told no again. I got turned down twice,” he told Aljaž.

In fact, it was only when he was called upon to star in a Strictly trailer – lifting that year’s contestants while wearing a morph suit, to make it look like they were dancing with an invisible partner, no less – that the show eventually decided to give him a break.

Last year, after four times in the final previously, Kevin finally won a series, alongside documentary presenter Stacey Dooley, with whom he is now in a romantic relationship.

During the Professionals documentary, Kevin also revealed how AJ Pritchard previously set his sights on dancing with Stacey before the series began.