Strictly Come Dancing champion Kevin Clifton will appear in the musical Rock of Ages at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

Kevin and Stacey with the trophy
Kevin and Stacey with the trophy
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Strictly champion Kevin Clifton still can’t quite believe he has won the glitterball trophy.

On Saturday he won the BBC dance competition with journalist and documentary filmmaker Stacey Dooley.

Kevin as Stacee in Rock of Ages

Kevin as Stacee in Rock of Ages

The dancer has reached the final five times with previous partners since starting the show in 2013 but this weekend was the first time he has won. “I was completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“We were not really that nervous as Craig had said the comments he had and we were bottom of the leader board so we just didn’t expect to win. We all thought that Joe and Dianne were going to win as they were favourites going into it.

“We were just stood there so when Tess said Stacey and Kevin my legs just went from under me.

“I always thought I would be cool if I won, and I just cried. I was very over emotional. It was unbelievable.”

Kevin added that Stacey wasn’t a natural dancer but worked hard.

The pair frequently trained for 14 hours a day.

“Week two was disastrous,” revealed Kevin. “We did the cha cha and our scores were four, fives and six.

“Stacey said that she felt embarrassed and didn’t want to be the first one to be eliminated.

“It was after that week we started training from 8am until 10pm.

“In week three it was movie week and we did the Charleston dressed as minions and it was brilliant.

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“It gave her so much confidence and from there she just grew and grew.”

But they nearly didn’t make it past week seven, the week they performed a contemporary dance as part of couple’s choice.

“Usually you start training on a Monday but we couldn’t start until the Wednesday as Stacey had injured herself,” he said.

“We had two days to train so I wasn’t sure if we would be able to do it on the Saturday.

“Overall though it was personally my favourite dance as I love that style, but to be honest if we had been eliminated that week I would have said I had had the best Strictly experience.”

Now he says it is back to normality, and his next challenge is taking on the role of Stacee Jaxx in musical Rock of Ages which comes to Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on July 2-7.

“I am obsessed with the musical, I first saw it in 2009 on Broadway,” he explained.

“I think people only think of me in a suit doing ballroom so it is nice to show them another side where I am singing, dancing and acting.”

Stacee is an interesting character as well so I’m excited to do something a bit different.”

Over the Christmas period Kevin will be getting prepared for the role “sitting on the sofa, reading the script and listening to the songs”. He will also return in May as part of show Burn the Floor.

“I feel that show made me the dancer I am today,” he said.