Strictly pro Kevin Clifton rumoured to permanently replace injured Neil Jones

Dancer Kevin Clifton is set to replace Neil Jones on Strictly Come Dancing for the second week in a row on tonight's show.

Alex Scott's dance partner, Neil, suffered an injury just a few hours before the show went on air for the Halloween special last week.

As a result, Kevin Clifton took over and amazingly learned the full routine 45 minutes before taking to the stage.

Rumours are now speculating whether Kevin will permanently replace Neil as Alex's professional dance partner following his devastating injury.

A crushed Neil appeared with Alex on It Takes Two last night to confirm that he was unable to dance again on Saturday after injuring his leg in training.

He said: "No I won’t be dancing tomorrow. No that’s the real answer.

"I’ve tried but it’s just not ready yet. I’ll be fine, if I rest it this weekend, you nail the dance, go through, and the I’m ready for you on Monday morning," he said to Alex.

He said he'd be cheering on hero of the hour Kevin, who has kindly agreed to step in for him again.

The former England Lioness then said to Zoe that while she is nervous about dancing with another partner again, she has to put things into perspective, after fellow contestant Will Bayley was forced to withdraw from the show.

Joking that it would be his only route to the final, Kevin said: "I'll do anything to make the final won't I! I'm obviously gutted for Neil I hope he's on the mend it looks like he's getting better and better if I can get Alex through next week."

The duo are set to perform an American Smooth to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Social media footage has shown injured Neil teaching Alex the American Smooth routine while using the crutches.

Kevin was initially knocked out of the BBC dance competition in the third week after landing in the dance off with his celebrity partner Anneka Rice.

He is the current reigning champion after taking home the Glitterball Trophy with girlfriend Stacey Dooley last year.

The unusual circumstances about BBC bosses decision to replace Neil with Kevin were recently revealed and simply explained as 'someone had to step in and Kevin happened to be there at the right time'.

The choice to have Kevin replacing him instead of another pro such as Gorka Marquez was met with backlash among fans, who said it was unfair he got a second chance after being voted off with Anneka.

Dancer Gorka was last year teamed with Katie Piper and prior to that reached the final with Alexandra Burke but this year missed out and is currently one of the background dancers.

The news of Neil's replacement comes just days after Paralympian Will Bayley was forced to withdraw from the show from a shock leg injury sustained in rehearsals.

Neil's painful injury, is believed to be either a torn knee ligament or a pulled calf muscle – which can take up to six weeks for a full recovery.

As Strictly Come Dancing approaches the final weeks, speculation as to whether Kevin will permanently replace Neil has gone wild as Neil has chosen not to announce his injury's improvements.

Strictly Come Dancing airs continues tonight at 7pm on BBC One.

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