Stacey Dooley has paid tribute to Kevin Clifton after he announced he’s leaving Strictly Come Dancing.
On Friday, the professional dancer – who won the show with his now-girlfriend Stacey in 2018 – confirmed he’s quitting the BBC programme to focus on other projects.
Stacey shared a photo of her and Kevin to Instagram alongside a heartfelt caption.
She wrote: “…will always be the King of Strictly. Well done darlin. Watch this space!!!!”
It comes after Kevin said in a statement: “To the entire Strictly family. The past seven years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life.
“I am grateful to the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing for giving me the opportunity to have been a part of something truly special.
The past seven years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life.
“Since first being called ‘Kevin from Grimsby’ by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013, I have experienced the highs of five finals, winning a Guinness World record on It Takes Two, the Strictly arena tour Glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley.
“I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have always made the Strictly family what it is and the lovliest show to work for.
— Kevin Clifton (@keviclifton) March 6, 2020
“Thank you to anyone who has ever voted for me and my partners. I means the world.”
In a statement shared to the Strictly Twitter page, the programme said Kevin will be “hugely missed”.
The statement read: “Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for the past seven years.
“From reaching the final an impressive five times, to lifting the Glitterball with Stacey Dooley in 2018, he has provided the show with some fantastic moments, through his exceptional talent as a dancer and choreographer.
“He will be hugely missed by fans and by his Strictly family. He will always be our Kevin from Grimsby.”
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) March 6, 2020
Fans were gutted by the news.
One person said: “Gutted,” followed by a sad face and love heart emoji.
Another wrote: “Oh that’s such a shame, we will miss you Kevin.”
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