TV show is to reveal the past lives of Strictly’s professionals
Strictly’s Kevin Clifton reveals it took him THREE times to get on show as he looked like a ‘gothic scarecrow’ in new documentary… while fans get a glimpse of how dancers used to look
They’ve jived, shimmied and foxtrotted their way into the nation’s hearts.
And Strictly Come Dancing will air a special behind-the-scenes documentary over the weekend showing the professional dancers as you have never seen them before as they delve into their journeys of becoming a dancer.
In the special, Kevin Clifton, who looks unrecognisable in one of his throwback snaps, reveals that it took him three times to get on the show as he looked like a ‘gothic scarecrow’ whereas his ex Karen Hauer got selected straight away in 2012.
Unrecognisable: Strictly Come Dancing will air a special behind-the-scenes documentary this weekend where Kevin Clifton reveals it took him three times to get on the show as he looked like a ‘gothic scarecrow’ (pictured in a throwback snap with ex-wife Karen Hauer)
Airing ahead of the series 17, where the dancing will start on Saturday, 21 September, it explores the current professionals’ route into dancing and the sacrifices they have made along the way to get to the top of their game.
Talking about his previous ‘gothic scarecrow’ look, The Sun reports that Kevin says in the documentary: ‘I had long black hair, eyeliner, black fingernails — “Don’t think I’m your average ballroom dancer, guys!”
‘They said, “We’d love to take Karen, but not that guy. We’ve no need for this Gothic scarecrow who thinks he’s the rock star of the ballroom.”‘
Journeys: The special programme will show the professional dancers as you have never seen them before as they delve into their journeys of becoming a dancer (Katya Jones pictured)
Brutal: Kevin reveals on the documentary that he was rejected from the show three times, he jokes they said: ‘”We’ve no need for this Gothic scarecrow who thinks he’s the rock star of the ballroom.'” (Kevin pictured recently)
Throwback: Strictly Come Dancing’s Kevin, when aged 13, and sister Joanne Clifton, who was 12 (left) and pictured in 2017, right
Way back when: Karen Hauer pictured as a child, left, and on the the Strictly Come Dancing launch show red carpet where she is paired with comedian Chris Ramsey, right
Kevin then joined the show as a low-profile background dancer for the 2012 trailer, he added: ‘And then two or three days later I got the call to say we can have you on the show.’
Born in Germany, British dancer Neil Jones, who recently split from his wife and fellow professional dancer Katya Jones, took his first ballet class aged three, the 37-year-old will dance with former women’s footballer Alex Scott on the show.
Born in Venezuela, Karen Hauer, moved to New York and began dancing at eight-years-old.
Now 37, Karen, ex-wife of Kevin Clifton, is paired with comedian Chris Ramsey on the upcoming 2019 series.
Dancing is in the family for Kevin, who is pictured with sister Joanne for a throwback snap, their parents are world Latin champions and even have their own dance school.
After last year’s win with now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley, he’s paired with Anneka Rice on the 2019 series.
Wow: After starting dancing aged four, Nadiya Bychkova is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in ballroom and Latin (pictured as a teenager, left, and recently, right)
Destined for success: AJ Pritchard started dancing at the age of 12, and in 2015 became the British Open Youth Latin Champion and European Youth Latin Champion (pictured as a teenager, left, and recently, right)
About to start her third series of the show, Nadiya Bychkova is a busy lady.
The 30-year-old, who was born in the Ukraine, splits her time between the UK and her home in Slovenia where she lives with her fiancé and young daughter.
After starting dancing aged four, she is a two-time World Champion and European Champion in ballroom and Latin.
So young: Hailing from Russia, 30-year-old Katya Jones started dancing when she was just six (pictured, left, and recently, right)
Star: Born in Germany, British dancer Neil Jones, who split from Katya Jones last month, took his first ballet class aged three (pictured, left, as a child and recently, right)
She has also appeared on the Bosnian version of Strictly, and will this year partner former England goalkeeper David James.
At just 24-years-old, AJ Pritchard is the show’s youngest professional dancer and joined the series in 2016.
He started dancing at the age of 12, and in 2015 became the British Open Youth Latin Champion and European Youth Latin Champion.
Dancing runs in his family as his brother, Curtis Pritchard, who recently appeared on Love Island, is a professional dancer and his parents run a dancing school.
Throwback: South African professional Latin American and ballroom dancer Oti Mabuse studied civil engineering before embarking on a career in ballroom dancing (pictured as a child, left, and recently, right)
Young talent: Amy Dowden pictured as a child at the start of her dancing career, left, and performing on stage for the show in August, right
After making it to three consecutive semi-finals, he’ll have his eyes firmly on the glitterball this year and he will dance with YouTube sensation Saffron Barker.
Hailing from Russia, 30-year-old Katya Jones started dancing when she was just six-years-old.
Australian dancer: Dianne Buswell pictured as a young child in a pink leotard, left, and for the Strictly photocall in August, right
So cute: Johannes Radebe sweetly pictured with his dancing trophies as a child, left, and at the Strictly photo call, right, in August
Dancer: Graziano Di Prima pictured as a young teenager ahead of a dancing competition and on stage during the Strictly launch in August
So sweet: Janette Manrara dressed in a ballerina outfit as a child, left, and dancing at the Strictly photocall in August, right
In her career, she won a slew of accolades with dance partner and soon-to-be ex-husband Neil Jones.
The pair split last month after she was pictured kissing last year’s partner, comedian Seann Walsh, in 2018.
Memorably, she was the dance partner of former shadow chancellor Ed Balls in 2016 and they finished sixth.
She went on to win the show with actor Joe McFadden in 2017, and this year will be the partner of BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell.
Strictly Come Dancing – The Professionals airs on Saturday at 7pm on BBC One.
Strictly Come Dancing: Luba Mushtuk competing in a dance competition as a child, left, and posing up a storm at the Strictly photocall, right
Woah: Giovanni Pernice looked almost unrecognisable as a young child, left, and pictured in August, right, at the Strictly launch
Adorable: Aljaz Skorjanec looked adorable as a young child in a pinstriped suit, left, and pictured, right, in a recent Strictly show still
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