Kevin Clifton: ‘A joke act’ Strictly star fuming over Anneka Rice pairing on BBC show

Kevin Clifton, 36, made dancing history after securing the Glitterball trophy for the first time, on the last series of the BBC show. The Strictly Come Dancing star is reportedly livid bosses have partnered him with Anneka Rice, 60, this year, supposedly claiming it is payback after his romance with documentary-filmmaker Stacey Dooley, 32, which came to light shortly after their win. It has been claimed the ballroom professional dancer would have preferred being paired with Catherine Tyldesley, 35, or Alex Scott, 35. A source told The Sun: “He calls himself King Kevin and wanted to make Strictly history by winning back to back titles.

“But although Anneka is willing, her age and agility means he won’t be able to throw her around like he did previous partners.”

It has also been alleged by the publication that Kevin is convinced that his partnership is a result of his romance with Stacey.

The source added: “Kevin thinks Anneka is great on a personal level but believes people at the top are putting the boot in for the fallout from his relationship with Stacey.

“Kevin is used to being one of the show’s favourites and doesn’t want to become the joke act.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Kevin Clifton and Strictly Come Dancing for comment.

Kevin has previously been partnered with Louise Redknapp, 44, Susanna Reid, 48, and Frankie Bridge, 30.

Elsewhere, Kevin’s Strictly partner Anneka was noticeably absent from the group dance performance during the launch show last week.

The television presenter has since addressed the reason behind not performing after a social media user tweeted about her whereabouts.

“Have watched the launch show of @bbcstrictly four times and can not spot you in the group dance with @TheAntonDuBeke until the very end,” the fan said. “Did you helicopter in?”

“Yes!” she joked, in view of her 25,000 Twitter followers. “Helicoptered in at the end.

“Wasn’t allowed to dance because of my shoulder injury but happy to report I am declared fit for training on Monday with Kevin!”

The Strictly Come Dancing contestant previously opened up about her shoulder injury, which she incurred slipping down a slope in a neighbour’s garden.

The Challenge Anneka favourite told her 5,000 Instagram followers the injury had improved after having a steroid injection.

“Haven’t been able to lift my right arm for weeks,” she said. “Pain-free at last!

“Let the fitness training commence. Bit late I know but I like jeopardy and a deadline,” she added.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on September 21.

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