Kevin Clifton at the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 - Launch Show

Kevin Clifton admits he has something to prove against younger Strictly dancers

Grimsby Kev believes he is his own competition

At 36, Strictly Come Dancing champ Kevin Clifton is one of the oldest pros on the show.

Only ex partner Karen Clifton – also 36 – and veteran performer Anton du Beke, 52, can match him for life experience among his co-stars.

But Kev is keen to demonstrate why he is the holder of the Glitterball trophy – along with BBC Three celebrity Stacey Dooley – by testing himself against the dancing series’ fresh blood.

With Strictly pal Stacey (Credit: Phil Lewis/

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Confirmed to be back on the Beeb’s dance floor for the 2019 run, it seems his age may be on Kev’s mind.

Speaking to OK! magazine, Kev revealed he relishes taking on the new, younger competition.

Asked about the likes of Johannes Radebe, 31, and Graziano Di Prima, 24, the five-time finalist said he got on well with both dancers.

But he also made it clear he has no intention of taking a supporting role after reaching the top of the TV ratings winner.

Vick Hope and Graziano DiPrima, The National Lottery Awards 2018, Television Centre, London UK, 21 September 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove
Graziano was paired with Vick Hope in the last series of Strictly (Credit: Brett D Cove/

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Kev said: “They’re younger and fitter than me so I want to prove to myself that I can still do it to their level.”

Currently playing Stacee Jaxx in a theatrical tour of The Rock of Ages, Kev is also keeping himself in tip-top shape ahead of defending his Strictly title.

“I gave up drinking 10 months ago so I’m a ‘cup of tea and Match Of The Day’ guy after a show,” he noted.

Johannes Radebe WENN
Johannes will also be looking to make an impression (Credit: WENN)

Kev, who recently defended his winning partner Stacey Dooley on social media against accusations she has a ‘white saviour complex’, added: “Nothing specifically happened to make me give up, I just wanted to take my health seriously so I can continue dancing for as long as possible.”

He also said he is no longer bothered by the media scrutiny that comes with being part of the biggest show on British TV, insisting he is “really happy”.

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