It was an emotional Strictly Come Dancing final, especially for professional dancer Karen Clifton who was the first to run up to her estranged ex-husband Kevin Clifton and hug him after he won the competition with celebrity dance partner Stacey Dooley. "You did it," she shouted to him, "You won!" And now, the 36-year-old has extended her congratulations to her husband - who she continues to be good friends with - in an Instagram post she shared on Sunday morning. Alongside a photograph of the winning couple, Karen wrote: "Our 2018 @bbcstrictlychampions! @keviclifton & @sjdooley. So proud and extremely happy for you guys. Kev - 5x finalist and you finally did it!! Your hard work, patience and pure brilliance paid off. So proud of you x Stacey- you are what Strictly is about girl!! My hero x Love you both…"
Karen hugs Kevin after he wins
Their friendship and ability to enjoy working alongside each other has earned Karen and Kevin much love and respect from Strictly fans, who were quick to share their excitement with Karen in the comments section, with one writing: "It was fantastic that you were the first to congratulate Kevin last night xx," while another posted: "Loved your reaction - you two show that a break up doesn’t automatically mean nastiness towards one another. Your respect for each other is heartwarming." A third added: "What a lovely post Karen. You're a talented classy lady and Kevin's a gentleman and a wonderful pro. I wish both of you all the very best whatever the future holds for you."
WATCH: Karen and Kevin's first interview post-split earlier this year
When Karen and Kevin decided to end their marriage earlier in the year, the much-loved Strictly stars first spoke exclusively to HELLO! after they separated. Speaking about the respect she will always have for Kevin, Karen revealed: "It is about being true to yourself, and respecting one another. I respect and admire Kevin as a performer, a human being, and I’ve always looked up to him, that will never stop. We want to be positive in all of this."
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