Karen and Kevin Clifton at the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 Launch

Karen Clifton pays tribute to ex-husband Kevin after his Strictly win

The dancer addressed her ex directly on Instagram

They split amicably earlier this year – even going on a tour together – and now Karen Clifton has paid tribute to her ex-husband Kevin after he won Strictly Come Dancing.

The professional dancer praised her ex’s “brilliance”, after Kevin took home the famous Glitterball trophy at the weekend alongside contestant Stacey Dooley.

Karen, 36, shared a picture of the winners on set, adding the caption: “Our 2018 @bbcstrictly champions! @keviclifton & @sjdooley. So proud and extremely happy for you guys.”

She addressed Kevin, 36, directly, writing: “Kev – 5x finalist and you finally did it!! Your hard work, patience and pure brilliance paid off. So proud of you x.”

The Venezuelan dancer added to the BBC presenter Stacey: “Stacey- you are what Strictly is about girl!! My hero x. Love you both…”

The former couple were married for three years (Credit: FameFlynet)

Her 153k followers praised her kind post, with one commenting: “Lovely message.”

Another added: “Lovely, lovely words Karen. Beautiful person inside and out.”

A third wrote: “Very emotional watching you guys last night. True professionals. We will miss Strictly so much now that it has finished but we shall look forward to next year and of course the Christmas special.”

Others referenced how Karen rushed to hug the winners on stage after the results were announced, gushing: “It was so nice of you to be the first to congratulate Kevin and give him a cuddle.”

Read more: Kevin Clifton’s former Strictly partners send messages on his win

They insisted they were still best friends after splitting (Credit: BBC)

Karen – who was paired with Casualty actor Charles Venn in this series, and came in 10th place – married Kevin in July 2015 before announcing the end of their marriage early this year.

They said in an interview it was amicable, insisting they were still “best friends”.

Staying close, they even danced together on the opening of this year’s Strictly live shows, leaving fans in tears.

Viewers were moved by them dancing together during Strictly (Credit: BBC)

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But it wasn’t all easy. Karen told the Mail on Sunday: “I’ve taken a big hit.

“I had to realise that I’m 36 years old. I’m not a kid and it has taken me a lot of therapy and life coaching to get through this. I have found it really difficult.”

She added: “We thought our relationship was going to be the best thing. It turns out that it wasn’t.”

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