Strictly Come Dancing winner Kevin Clifton has had an exciting month after being handed the famous Glitterball trophy with his dance partner Stacey Dooley. And the professional dancer made sure that he continued to celebrate his achievement throughout the festive period! Marking his first Christmas without ex-wife Karen Clifton, Kevin went home to Grimsby to celebrate the big day with his famous family, including former Strictly pro sister Joanne Clifton, and his dance school teacher parents Keith and Judy. Joanne shared a photo of the four of them posing in front of the Christmas tree at home, dressed in festive jumpers, with Kevin proudly holding a giant Strictly Glitterball. The following day, supportive Kevin took a trip to Brighton to watch Joanne star in the Rocky Horror Show with his friend Hiten Vora, who works as the assistant to Chris Evans.
Kevin Clifton and his famous family at home in Grimsby
Karen, meanwhile, flew to New York to spend her Christmas with her family. The pro dancer spoke exclusively to HELLO! ahead of the festivities, saying: "Christmas is definitely a time for reflection. After having a really tough year, it's been nice to have pulled through in such a positive way." Kevin and Karen have remained on great terms since they split, and viewers were touched when they watched Karen rush over to congratulate Kevin on his Strictly win. "With Kevin and I being such good friends, having such a strong relationship - now that we're not together anymore - I think it's really important to notice all the positives," added Karen.
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Kevin posed with his Glitterball trophy following his Strictly win
Karen knew only too well how much Kevin's Strictly win meant to him, with the pro dancer having made it to the final on several occasions. Kevin was so overwhelmed when he heard his name announced as the winner that he fell to his knees. His dad – who runs the Clifton Dance Academy with his wife – explained his son's reaction while chatting to Grimsby Live, saying: "His knees gave way. He was that relieved! It was shock and relief. It has been a long haul. He had been in four previous finals. He was overjoyed, not just for himself but for Stacey too. He put in 14-hour days throughout the series to try to make her a wonderful dancer. Stacey wanted to be the best she could be and he was prepared to help her all the way."
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Karen reflects on her year following Kevin split
Speaking to Stacey following their win, Kevin said: "Thank you so much... Thanks for being the most wonderful person. You're so lovely and I just think the absolute world of you, thank you so much." The new celeb winner replied: "Kev, listen, you know how highly I think of you. I think you're the biggest gent. It's no coincidence he's been in the final as many times as he has. I've had the most incredible time. It's daunting, you feel silly, a bit of an idiot, but Kevin walks you through - you deserve this."
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