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Stacey Dooley supports 'heartbroken' Kevin Clifton after unexplained death

The former Strictly Come Dancing star shared his sadness on Instagram

 stacey dooley kevin clifton hugging strictly ballroom press night 2022
Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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Kevin Clifton has shared his heartbreak after learning of the death of a friend he has known since childhood. 

The former Strictly Come Dancing star was supported by his girlfriend, Stacey Dooley, as he paid an emotional tribute to fellow dancer and Britain's Got Talent 2014 semi-finalist, Kerri Donaldson, whose death was announced on Thursday

Kerri performed on BGT as part of the supergroup Kings and Queens alongside Strictly pros Kai Widdrington, Neil Jones and Katya Jones. Her cause of death has not been disclosed. 

Stacey and Kevin attending a Strictly Ballroom after party© Getty
Kevin was supported by his girlfriend, Stacey Dooley

Alongside a beautiful photo of Kerri and two throwback pictures of her and Kevin competing in dance competitions as children, Kevin penned: "Absolutely heartbroken. I've known Kerri since we were kids and she was always the loveliest girl. 

"A friend and a dance partner. I'm glad we got to dance together this xmas. And that the whole cast of Strictly Ballroom got to work with you in rehearsals. RIP."

Stacey – who shares daughter Minnie with Kevin – was among the first to react to his post and commented with a single red heart emoji. His fans also expressed their condolences, with one responding: "Oh Kevin I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending love at this incredibly hard time." 

A second said: "So sorry to hear about your friend Kerri. Thoughts and prayers are with you and her family at this sad time." A third added: "So so Sorry Kevin! We're all thinking of you at this hard time." 

kevin clifton childhood throwback dance competition
Kevin knew Kerri since childhood

Kevin wasn't the only one to pay his respects to Kerri. His sister, Joanne Clifton, and several Strictly stars also took to social media to express their shock and sadness over her passing. Joanne shared a string of touching photos including a number of childhood images, alongside the message: "I have no words…This is just heartbreaking.. truly devastating. 

"We've known you and shared the dance floor with you basically all our lives. Dance up there with the angels Kerri.. you beautiful dancer, you beautiful soul. To Cara, Colin and Jaqui ... all my thoughts and love and strength and prayers are with you xxxx." 

kevin clifton childhood throwback dance competition
Kevin competed in dance competitions with Kerri and his sister, Joanne Clifton

Amy Dowden wrote: "So shocked and sad @kerri_annedonaldson. Such a beautiful dancer and kind soul! Sending love to all your family and friends. Heaven has certainly gained an angel. Keep dancing up there lovely," alongside three broken heart emojis. 

Neil Jones said: "Kerri Anne Donaldson – remember that name and please never forget it because it belongs to a woman who loved to dance, create and perform. 

Amy Dowden shared an emotional update
Amy Dowden shared an emotional tribute to Kerri

"She had the cheekiest laugh and a heart of gold, she hated getting in the car with me, but would always listen to my crazy ideas, we shared so many moments and stories and she was always the voice of reason. Kerri you were my friend and like my big sister." 

Gorka Marquez simply penned: "RIP @kerri_annedonaldson," alongside two white love heart emojis and a photo of Kerri. While Janette Manrara said: "How sad to see this news. She was a such a lovely person. My heart goes out to all her friends and family during this time."

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