Kevin Clifton: Strictly Come Dancing needs an intimacy coordinator
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Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton, 38, has slammed a fellow Strictly pro for complaining about who they were partnered with on the BBC dance programme. Appearing on his self-titled podcast, Potential Partners and Burn The Floor: A Special Community Conversation with his sister Joanne Clifton, Kevin mentioned the incident after being asked by a fan about whether attitudes to pairings change away from the camera.
I think that’s very unfair for a pro to do, I don’t think it’s good behaviour
Taking a question from a fan, Kevin was asked whether he had “seen a more negative reaction” after the launch show had finished, from either the dance pros or celebrity contestants.
Without hesitating, Kevin referred to the infamous moment in 2011 when singer Lulu was paired with dance pro Brendan Cole.
He said: “Well there was a famous one before I was on the show when LuLu was paired with Brendan and she basically said on the show, ‘Oh no, I didn’t want to get paired with him.’
“And everybody was like, ‘Oh, great!
“It doesn’t happen very often, [but] I have seen it,” Kevin admitted.
Without naming and shaming a former fellow dance pro, the star told how someone had made his dissatisfaction with their new dance partner quite clear.
Kevin went on: “I won’t name names, but I have seen it from someone who was not happy with their pairing and they made it quite obvious.”
After being prompted to clarify who it was in the partnership that was unhappy, Kevin replied: “That was the pro.”
The boyfriend of former Strictly winner Stacey Dooley went on to slam their attitude at the partnership.
Kevin said: “I think that’s very unfair for a pro to do, I don’t think it’s good behaviour.
“Of course we’re all going to lean towards, ‘Oh I’d like to get that person, I’d like to get that person or you get ideas in your head of what would be a nice fit.”
Explaining his reasoning, Kevin continued: “And sometimes you think you think they’ll just be a great dancer, sometimes you think height-wise or personality-wise or whatever.”
The star went on to tell how he immediately got on with Susan Calman after meeting on the launch day of the 2017 series.
Kevin told how they bonded over “Games of Thrones, Harry Potter and Star Wars” and was thrilled when they were eventually partnered with each other.
“When I got paired with Susan when we’d all been meeting each other and preparing the launch show in that big group dance together, we just got on really well,” he said.
“We were chatting and chatting and chatting and it got to a point where I was just like ‘I think I’d like to be partnered with Susan because we could chat about Harry Potter all the time, we get on really well,” Kevin laughed.
The Burn The Floor star revealed that the unhappy pro and their dancer made a swift exit from the dancefloor.
“Yeah, it didn’t last very long, they went out quite early,” Kevin replied when Joanne asked him whether it made for a “difficult pairing for the whole series”.
He continued: “I just think even if you don’t get the exact partner that you think would be best for you, at the end of the day you’re on an amazing show and the producers know what they’re doing.
“Whoever you get, for me, I think you should just give your best to that person,” Kevin added.
Strictly Come Dancing starts on Saturday September 18 on BBC One.
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