Stacey Dooley and Kevin Cliftons romance – row with ex, baby plans to glam home
Documentary maker Stacey Dooley competed on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 with Kevin Clifton, as the couple made it all the way to the final and lifted the Glitterball Trophy together.
Stacey brought Kevin to his first victory as a Strictly professional, having lost in four previous finals, and it didn't take long for the pair to grow close behind the scenes.
Before starting the series, Stacey told the BBC: “I am genuinely so looking forward to the costumes as I never get to dress fancy at work, so it will be a welcomed difference!”
Little did she know the romance that was ahead of her as the filmmaker and the professional dancer fell for each other throughout their partnership on the show and have been together for over two years.
Their relationship was labelled as a result of the ‘Strictly Curse’ in which professionals or celebrities enter into an affair or relationship with their Strictly partner despite their existing relationship.
Stacey was in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend of five years Sam Tucknott when she applied for the show and went on to begin dating Kevin in 2019.
Sam accused Kevin of being a “rat” and a “snake” in a FaceTime video call after discovering the romance, telling The Sun: "He went white. I just stuck it on him, ‘You’re an absolute rat, how you conducted yourself. Just a slippery, slimy snake’. He didn’t say a word, he looked petrified, so shocked."
Stacey admitted that she held back her feelings for the dancer until the show had finished, aware of the potential comments and labels they may receive.
"I don’t want to be such a cliché, it’s so cringe!" she told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It’s so cheesy, isn’t it? It is! I want to be cooler than this, I want to be cooler."
"Kev and I, we were pals for such a long time and I have such respect for him, he’s so established in his world and he’s just a real gent so we were friends.
"Then you win together and you have Christmas and then January, you think, ‘Oh where is he? Oh, I liked hanging out with him’. So yeah, it was much later down the line for us. We were pals for a long time.”
It seems as though the admiration was reciprocated as Kevin spoke about Stacey on his podcast The Kevin Clifton Show, saying: "I was a big fan of Stacey before the season started. I was a big fan of her as an investigative journalist, a big fan of her documentaries and I couldn’t believe she was on the show."
Since they began dating in 2019, the couple have been secretive about their partnership. Stacey told the Guardian: "Kev and I have agreed not to go into too much detail about our private lives because you can't really indulge that and then ask for privacy.
"That’s why we’ve turned down interviews that have offered us tens of thousands of pounds. What I am happy to say in Kev’s amazing, I’m happy, life happens, I’ve got an amazing career and I’m very lucky."
Kevin Clifton has been married three times prior to dating Stacey. His most recent union to Strictly professional dancer Karen Hauer, who he wed in 2015, ended in 2018 after their relationship "became strained" due to their hectic work schedules and long-distance commutes.
Despite this the pair remain friends and Karen told OK! Magazine in 2018: "As performers with our fans and as a couple with our family, we have shared so much, so no matter what has happened, we can continue. Things don't have to fall apart."
Stacey has recently revealed that she’s in no rush to marry the professional dancer. On her show Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over she mentioned the potential marriage saying: “he would end up divorcing me.”
She continued: “Kev and I have been together for two years, I don't think I want to get married. I think I'd be more interested in starting a family than getting married."
Their relationship has become stronger over the last two years and the couple live together in Stacey’s home in London that she loves to proudly show off on Instagram.
She has recently shared her dressing room complete with a stunning chandelier and a giant mirror which she captioned: “I feel so lucky.”
The home renovations have caused some arguments between the star couple as Kevin likes to take the mick out of Stacey’s interior design choices. She said on Instagram: “If Kev tells me ONE more time that it looks like a pre-schooler made the vase and candle holders,” with a fed-up emoji.
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