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Kevin Clifton reveals real reason he left Strictly Come Dancing 

The star had appeared on the show for seven years before leaving 

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Kevin Clifton has opened up about the main reason he decided to leave Strictly Come Dancing, and how the pandemic forced him to put his new career aspirations on hold. 

MORE: Kevin Clifton reacts to sad news in moving Instagram post

Chatting to the HuffPo, the professional dancer admitted that he was offered his dream role in musical theatre, and knew that he wouldn't be able to do both. 

WATCH: Kevin Clifton reveals moment he confronted Craig Revel Horwood

He explained: "I was all set to move onto Strictly Ballroom, which was supposed to open in September. To be honest, that was the main reason I took the decision to leave Strictly Come Dancing. It was always a bit of a dream of mine to play that role in Strictly Ballroom.

"I'd been in touch with Strictly Come Dancing and said, ‘If I get offered this, I’m not going to be able to say no to it.' So I got offered the part, said I was leaving Strictly for a life in the theatre… and then there was no more theatre. So everything sort of disappeared, or moved over to 2021." 

MORE: Strictly's Kevin Clifton clarifies misunderstanding about ex-wife Karen's place in finale

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MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara shares emotional message after reaching milestone

Kevin announces he was leaving the show after seven years back in early March, and released a statement at the time which read: "After finishing last series with the Children in Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career. 

kevin clifton

Kevin was on Strictly for seven years

"I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for." 

At the time, his girlfriend and fellow Strictly champ Stacey Dooley responded: "I could burst with pride. Undeniably, the most successful pro on Strictly. Won everything, treated everyone with respect and kindness, worked SO bloody hard and now, leaving on a high. You will always be the King of Strictly."

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