Belfast Telegraph

Strictly final: Stacey has rekindled my love of dance, says partner

By Laura Harding

Strictly professional Kevin Clifton has said his pairing with Stacey Dooley has made him fall in love with dancing again.

He has never won the BBC show, despite coming close on numerous occasions.

He and broadcaster Dooley will compete for the coveted glitterball trophy in the live final of the hit show alongside YouTube star Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell, Steps singer Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice, and Pussycat Dolls' Ashley Roberts and Pacha Kovalev.

Clifton said: "I have absolutely loved it, I've really enjoyed this series.

"I was really hoping to get Stacey as my partner at the beginning because I was a super-fan of her documentaries, so when she was announced on the show I was like 'please, please, please', but I thought she would be quite serious because of the way she is in her documentaries. Then it turned out once we got in the training room that she's really hyper a lot of time.

"She's a massive idiot in a really lovely way and just as daft as I am and we have just had a great time.

"I have smiled so much and as if I couldn't love it any more. I have sort of fallen in love with dance and fallen in love with Strictly all over again, I've really, really enjoyed this series."

Clifton said the happiness the dances have brought to viewers matters more to him than winning the series.

He said: "People come up to us and go: 'I just want to say thank you for how much joy you all bring. When there is loads of stuff going on in the world that isn't as cool, Strictly is our one thing where we just sit down on a Saturday and we all just love it and don't ever lose sight of that'. And I think the bigger picture is that is totally what it's about.

"It's not the British championships or the world championships, it's not life or death, the winning isn't the most important thing in the world.

"But of course all of us would love to win, it's not the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe.

"You have got to keep things in perspective. But of course all of us would really love to win, just once."

The Strictly Come Dancing final is on BBC One at 6.30pm.

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