Belfast Telegraph

Does Kevin Clifton think he can repeat his glitterball success on Strictly?

The dancer triumphed in last year’s show with presenter Stacey Dooley.

Anneka Rice with her dance partner Kevin Clifton (Ray Burmiston/BBC)
Anneka Rice with her dance partner Kevin Clifton (Ray Burmiston/BBC)

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Reigning Strictly Come Dancing champion Kevin Clifton says he is not yet thinking about whether he can lift the glitterball again.

The dancer, 36, triumphed in last year’s show with presenter Stacey Dooley, 32, who is now his girlfriend.

But Clifton, who is now partnered with 61-year-old Anneka Rice this season, said winning again is far from his mind.

“Of course it would be lovely,” Clifton said.

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Strictly Come Dancing 2018 winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley (Guy Levy/PA)

But he added: “Especially at the start of the series, it’s not the thing you focus on.

“I know that people will find it hard to believe, but you only start thinking about whether you can win or not when you get to the quarter final sort of stage.

“Before that it feels so far off. You’re just concentrating on your partnership, on your dance each week.

“There are so many variables. You can’t control how everyone else is going to perform and how the judges and audience are going to take to you.

“It’s difficult to even think about winning or not. You’re just trying to do your best within your partnership.”

Meanwhile, former Treasure Hunt presenter Rice says she has inflicted injuries on the man she calls “poor Kevin.”

“In the training there have been a few mishaps,” she said.

“I have to throw a stick up in the air and in the training it has landed in Kevin’s eye, it landed in my ear.

“We wasted about half a day just trying to throw a stick in the air!

“It’s been a very difficult week. The Charleston is not a walk in the park.

“I am covered in bruises throughout. I can barely move. Apart from that it’s going pretty well!”

After initially shunning dresses, Rice, famous for wearing jumpsuits on-screen, says that Strictly has given her a taste for them.

“It’s a real incentive to stay in another week now just so I can get another dress on!”, she added.

The pair managed a score of just 11 with a Charleston in their latest performance, placing them bottom of the leaderboard.

Strictly Come Dancing continues with the results show at 7.15pm on Sunday on BBC One.

PA

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