Kevin Clifton’s backstage role in Strictly 2020 revealed after quitting ‘I’m proud to say’

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Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton, 38, may have left the show to focus on other commitments earlier this year, but this didn’t stop him from getting involved with the professional dancer’s group numbers this series.

I feel like I’ve played a very small part in Strictly this year

Kevin Clifton

The first live show of the 2020 series kicked off last weekend, with social distancing measures in place.

While he is no longer a part of the professional line-up, Kevin has revealed how he was involved with the group’s swing-inspired number on the show, when it returned to screens earlier this month.

Speaking on his podcast, the dancer said he was invited down to the group’s rehearsals by the programme’s creative director and choreographer Jason Gilkison and put in some of his ideas for the dance.

The professional dancers formed a bubble earlier this year to pre-record their group numbers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kevin said he swapped the dance floor to teach some of his ex fellow pros in a backstage move.

Explaining all he began by praising the professionals for their “great bit of choreography” when opening the launch show.

He then divulged: “I actually, a couple of months back when all the prep was being done for the choreography and I had nothing to do because of lockdown, I was speaking to Jason and he said, ‘Why don’t you just come in and have a play with some of the choreography?’

“Obviously all socially distanced of course, I wasn’t allowed near anybody but there were moments in a rehearsal space, where there were a few of us, Jason and a couple of the others.

“On a couple of the days some of the pros came in, just to sort of workshop a couple of bits of choreography.

“So, I’m very proud to say I had a very very very small hand in the workshop faze of this particular number, this swing number, a couple of the bits of choreography I recognised because we were doing them that day.

“I feel like I’ve played a very small part in Strictly this year when I was seeing some of the choreography in this number, but it was very much Jason’s number.

“And I can’t give it high praise enough, it was excellent from an excellent group of pros.”

Kevin announced he had left the show after seven years back in March.

As part of a lengthy statement at the time, he said: “I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.

“I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all of my celebrity partners,” he added.

“The whole team behind the scenes have always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for.”

Kevin won the main show for the first time back in 2018 with Stacey Dooley, who he is now dating.

During his time on the programme, he also won the Christmas episode with Debbie McGee and a Children In Need special with Maisie Smith last year.

He first joined the show in 2013 and danced with Good Morning Britain Susanna Reid. His last dance partner was Anneka Rice in 2019.

Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.15pm on BBC One.

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