Kevin Clifton has revealed how the producers at Strictly Come Dancing reacted to the news that he had decided to step down from the BBC show after seven years. Appearing on Friday's This Morning, the professional dancer explained that show bosses told him he would "always be part of the Strictly family".
"They were so brilliant, the producers of the show, when I spoke to them," he explained, adding: "I was very open about how, you know this is a dream role for me and they said 'we wouldn't want to stand in your way if that's what you want to do.'" He continued: "And they did say to me 'but you'll always be part of the Strictly family' so, yeah [we're on] such good terms."
The dancer, who won the series in 2018 with girlfriend Stacey Dooley, also responded to claims of whether he'd ever return to the show. Presenter Eamonn Holmes asked: "I'm sure the door's open for you to come back for specials?" to which Kevin replied: "Who knows? I mean I've still got such a lovely relationship with [them]."
MORE: Kevin Clifton reveals he's landed his dream role after shock Strictly exit
Kevin appeared on the This Morning sofa to discuss his exit from Strictly
As well as explaining how the team responded to his news, Kevin also told Eamonn and Rochelle about his brand new upcoming role in the West End. The 37-year-old will star as Scott Hastings in the new tour of Baz Luhrmann's smash hit Strictly Ballroom The Musical. The all-singing and dance extravaganza will be directed by Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood and is based on the award-winning global film phenomenon of the same name which inspired the world to dance. "I just couldn't turn it down," Kevin told the presenters. "It's been my life's ambition since I was a ten-year-old." He continued: "When the musical finally came to London's West End a couple of years ago, there was talk about me potentially being involved but it didn't work out, and [now] I've been offered the title role, and it goes out at the end of September."
MORE: Stacey Dooley reveals Strictly secret after Kevin Clifton quits
Kevin has landed a new West End role
When his new gig was announced, the former champion said in a statement: "I'm beyond excited to be finally fulfilling a lifelong ambition to play Scott Hastings in Strictly Ballroom The Musical. When I was ten years old I first watched the movie that would become my favourite film of all time. This is my dream role. Plus I get to work with Craig Revel Horwood again!" He added: "I really can't wait to don the golden jacket and waltz all over the UK from September this year in what's set to be an incredible show!"
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