stacey dooley kevin clifton

Stacey Dooley makes dramatic return to Strictly Come Dancing with boyfriend Kevin Clifton

The Strictly couple lifted the glitterball trophy last year

Sharnaz Shahid

Stacey Dooley has returned to the set of Strictly Come Dancing with her dance partner - and now boyfriend - Kevin Clifton! This is the first time the pair have been seen at the studios as a couple, having won last year's series and confirming their romance in March. Ahead of the 2019 series launch, the documentary-maker shared a behind-the-scenes video of her entrance whilst focusing the camera on a smiling Kevin. "I'm baaaaaaack," she simply wrote alongside the footage, which played dramatic music.

On Friday morning, the 2018 winners joined this year's celebrity line-up and the professional dancers to film the pre-recorded launch show. They will soon have to hand over the coveted Glitterball trophy to the next set of champions. But before they do, Stacey and Kevin will open the brand new series with a spectacular dance to remind viewers why they were crowned the winners in the first place.

READ: Kevin Clifton reveals Russell Brand helped him get over Karen split

Earlier this week, Stacey gushed on social media: "We coming back to launch the new series… see you there." The 32-year-old also shared a backstage snap of some last-minute touch-ups – and a lot of hairspray – and captioned the pic: "See you Sat eve kidssssss @bbcstrictly @bbcone." Kevin commented on the image with a flexed biceps emoji and a black heart. The reigning Strictly champions have managed to keep their romance off social media since news first broke of their relationship back in March. Although, they have been pictured out together on various occasions.

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Last month, Stacey opened up about their romance for the very first time, telling told The Guardian: "Kev and I have agreed not to go into too much detail about our private lives because you can’t really indulge that and then ask for privacy." She added: "That's why we've turned down interviews that have offered us tens of thousands of pounds." However, Stacey was full of praise when probed further about her boyfriend. "What I am happy to say is Kev's amazing, I'm happy, life happens, I've got an amazing career and I’m very lucky," she commented.

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