Kevin Clifton set to return to Strictly Come Dancing four years after quitting

Kevin Clifton attends Strictly Come Dancing launch in 2019
Kevin Clifton at the Strictly Come Dancing launch in 2019 (getty)

Strictly Come Dancing fans will be happy to learn that former professional and champion Kevin Clifton is making a sensational return to the show.

Although he is not returning to the main show, the 40-year-old dancer – who announced his departure from the series in 2020 – will act as the resident choreography expert on the spin-off series, Strictly: It Takes Two.

Kevin Clifton white shirt and trousers
Kevin was one of the Strictly favourites (getty)

Kevin will be filling in for his sister Joanne Clifton, who tends to act as the dance expert. During a chat with Joanne, It Takes Two's new host Fleur East said: "Choreography corner is a family affair this year isn't it Joanne?" To which the professional dancer replied: "Yes it's someone called Kevin, don't know if you know him, he came second in 2016 when I won."

Back in March 2020, Kevin shocked Strictly fans when he announced his departure after seven "wonderful years". Just a year prior, the dancing favourite had won the 2018 series with his now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley.

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"Since first being called 'Kevin From Grimsby' by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013 I have experienced the highs of 5 finals, winning a Guinness World record on It Takes Two, the Strictly Arena tour glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley," he said at the time.

kevin clifton stacey dooley
Kevin and Stacey Dooley won Strictly in 2018 (Photo: Getty Images)

"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."

Strictly Come Dating: couples who met on the dancefloor

As well as Gemma and Gorka, there are several other loved-up couples who met during their time on Strictly

  • Janette Manrara and Aljaz Škorjanec met on Strictly in 2010, before marrying in 2017 and welcoming a baby, Lyra, in 2023.

  • Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev met during the 2013 series. They married in 2019 and have two children together.

  • Dianne Buswell and Joe Sugg fell in love while competing in 2018. They live together in Brighton.

  • Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton met in 2018 and welcomed a baby girl, Minnie, in 2023.

  • Max George and Maisie Smith shared their Strictly experience together in 2020, but didn't announce their relationship until 2022.

  • Tyler West and Molly Rainford starred in the 2022 series together and have been going strong ever since!

  • Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova are both professionals on the show, and began dating in 2022.

  • Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen were partnered together on the show in 2013, confirming their romance in 2014. They share a daughter together, Mila, who was born in 2018.

Kevin has yet to address his return, but over the weekend, he could not help but share a throwback picture with one of his former dancer partners, Susanna Reid. "Debuting on @bbcstrictly 10 yrs ago w @susannareid100," he wrote on social media. "I'm in the USA at the moment and can't watch the show. Tell me everything!!"

In recent years, the pro dancer has gone on to star in musicals including Singing In The Rain and Strictly Ballroom alongside fellow Strictly alum Maisie Smith. Earlier this year, he became a father to his daughter Minnie, whom he shares with his girlfriend Stacey.