stacey-dooley-kevin-strictly

The real reason Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley were paired on Strictly revealed

The now-couple won Strictly Come Dancing in 2018

Jenni McKnight

They found love on Strictly Come Dancing and even lifted the Glitterball trophy in 2018, but Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley may have had a very different outcome to their journey had Stacey not got her way. The documentary maker revealed on Kevin's podcast this week that she "pushed" Strictly bosses to pair her up with Kevin, after hinting that she was originally meant to be partnered with AJ Pritchard. Making it clear that contestants do not have the power to pick their pro dancer, both Stacey and Kevin admitted that they were very "vocal" about their preferences to bosses.

Loading the player...

WATCH: Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley reveal how they pass the time during COVID-19

MORE: Stacey Dooley's love life: everything you need to know about her relationships

Insisting she believed they'd be coupled with other stars of the series, Stacey said: "I imagine at some point, total speculation, that you were meant to have Lauren [Steadman] or Katie [Piper] and they were going to put me with AJ. I pushed for you for whatever reason. If I hadn't been so vocal, I wouldn't have gotten you. I really wanted you. You're so nurturing and patient."

In a documentary about the Strictly pros, which aired last year, Kevin revealed that AJ tried to poach Stacey during the show's 'chemistry circle' – which sees celebrities and dancers chop and change partners while they are dancing in order to help bosses find the perfect pairings. "Last year with Stacey in the salsa circle, I was going for it – bang, bang, bang – overdoing it," Kevin said, according to the Sun. "At one point we were on a coffee break and AJ [Pritchard] interrupted us in the middle of us talking and took her away, because he wanted to get to know her and see what she was about." Referencing AJ's brother Curtis, Kevin then quipped: "I was like, 'It's not Love Island, mate!'"

kevin-clifton-stacey-dooley

Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley are now in a relationship

MORE: Strictly Come Dancing pros: who's married, single and who's dating who

Kevin and Stacey made their romance public last April and have been going strong ever since. Speaking about their relationship last July, she 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. That's why we've turned down interviews that have offered us tens of thousands of pounds. 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."

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.