Kevin Clifton: Strictly pro’s concerns amid move away from BBC show ‘Everyone judging me’

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Kevin Clifton, 37, announced his departure from Strictly Come Dancing in March. The Grimsby-born performer has since detailed the “negative” reaction he faced and admitted to feeling judged.

Earlier this year, Kevin starred as Robbie Hart in the musical The Wedding Singer.

Speaking on his self-titled podcast, the ex Strictly pro spoke candidly with musical artist and performer Ricky Rojas about his concerns performing in a theatre show.

Kevin revealed how he believed people would assume he got the lead role in the play because of his career on Strictly.

“When I was doing The Wedding Singer it was more than I’d ever sung in a show,” he explained.

“I was on stage for most of it and I had quite a lot of songs.”

He continued: “I was terrified of losing my voice because, one, it would be a horrible thing to happen.

“And two, I had been feeding the negative wolf a bit too much and in my head everyone was judging me.

“I was from Strictly Come Dancing. I wasn’t from Italia Conti Theatre School.”

The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is a performing arts educational institution based in London.

Kevin admitted his main fear, however, was “not to lose my voice”.

The dancer said: “Everyone in the audience was coming with a pad and a pen to write something down, like, ‘He only got the job because he’s from Strictly Come Dancing.’

“In my head I was thinking, ‘I must not lose my voice.'”


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Kevin added: “So I was drinking gallons of water.

“Not having coffee, not drinking chocolate. Making sure that I kept testing my voice.”

Kevin announced his departure from the BBC show in March.

He was due to take part in the Strictly Ballroom musical but the production was postponed following the coronavirus pandemic.

Elsewhere, the dance champion today took to Twitter and praised Strictly for introducing a same-sex couple to the show.

In view of his 248,000 followers, he wrote: “Great to hear @bbcstrictly having a same sex couple this year. Lovely stuff.”

It comes after it was confirmed that boxing champion Nicola Adams will appear on the show in a same-sex dancing duo.

Strictly Come Dancing is due to return to BBC One later this year.

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