Stacey Dooley is very much the proud girlfriend after she praised Kevin Clifton for his "persistence" to fulfil his Strictly Come Dancing dream. On Saturday, the professional dancer revealed that he was rejected from the BBC show on two separate occasions before he became a main professional with a celebrity partner. "I got turned down twice," he told fellow pro Aljaz Skorjanec. The clip was posted on Strictly's official Instagram page, to which Stacey remarked: "It's this level of persistence and hard work that makes you one of the most successful pros in Strictly history I guess????"
"Also, both my partners on the one sofa," she later added. Stacey and Kevin won the 2018 series of Strictly, beating the likes of Ashley Roberts, Joe Sugg and Faye Tozer. The couple then confirmed their romance shortly after the nationwide tour, which saw Stacey dance with Aljaz due to Kevin's work commitments with Rock of Ages.
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During the weekend special, Kevin detailed his Strictly journey, saying: "I applied with Karen [Hauer]. She got the job, I didn't. I had long, black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails. Don't think that I'm your average ballroom dancer, guys! They said, 'Yeah, we'd love to take Karen but not that guy. We have no need for this gothic scarecrow who thinks he’s the rock star of the ballroom.'"
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He later told Aljaz: "Next year, you and Janette [Manrara] both got the job, I got told 'no' again. I got turned down twice and then they went to film the trailer for the show that year. The idea for the trailer was that all these Strictly stars would be with an invisible partner. Who is it going to be? That invisible partner was me. I just wanted a job." After joining the show as a main professional in 2013, the Grimsby-born dancer soon became a firm favourite. He is also the only professional to reach four grand finals in a row.
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