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Strictly's Kevin Clifton makes shocking confession about pairing with Stacey Dooley

The couple went on to win the dance show in 2018

Andrea Caamano

Strictly Come Dancing fans know that the dancer and celebrity pairings are always a secret until the very last minute and that the decision is usually based on connection, height and sometimes location.

Well, Kevin Clifton, who announced he was leaving the hit dance show earlier this year, has shocked fans of the show by cheekily revealing that his pairing with Stacey Dooley was anything but spontaneous.

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Speaking about it in his podcast, The Kevin Clifton Show, the 37-year-old confessed he wanted to be paired with the broadcaster because he was a big fan of her documentaries, so he called in a favour from choreographer Jason Gilkison, with whom he had worked on the Burn The Floor tour.

MORE: Strictly pro dancers reveal the very FIRST question they ask celebrity partners

"I was a fan of your documentaries and for the last couple of years I'd tweeted you a few times, going 'I really liked your documentary', and you were like, ''Oh cheers Kev!'," he told Stacey who joined him in the podcast episode.

"So yeah, I was like 'Stacey Dooley's wicked. She'll be really interesting... she'll be great just to talk to about her experiences'.

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"Once I heard you were doing it, I went over to Jason, 'Remember that time when I had broken shins and it was the difference between Burn The Floor surviving, going bust or going to Broadway?'

"You (Jason) were like 'I need you to give a big performance tonight' and I was, 'Yes I'll do it. I'll take lots of ibuprofen and go on stage.'

Kevin explained that the day Neil Jones confessed to him that Stacey had done a trial for the show, he went to his friend Jason to call in the favour. He said: "Jason was like 'What do you want?' and I said, 'Well I've heard Stacey Dooley may be doing Strictly. If there's any chance you could push for her to be my partner...'"

"It's something I don't normally do," he admitted, before Stacey joked: "Well, you assure me that the case."

It all ended well for the couple, who were paired together and were later crowned champions in December 2018. Months later, it was revealed that they were dating.