Kevin Clifton had an impressive track record during his time on Strictly Come Dancing, taking part in four consecutive finals before eventually winning with Stacey Dooley in 2018.
Since announcing his decision to leave the BBC programme in 2020, the professional dancer has since welcomed a baby daughter with Stacey, after the couple started dated a year after their victory.
The Strictly family recently suffered a monumental loss, following the death of former judge Len Goodman in April this year at the age of 78.
During a recent conversation with Metro.co.uk ahead of his episode of genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?, Clifton was asked if he would ever consider returning to the dancing show to take part in a tribute to Goodman if one was organised for the 2023 season.
‘Yeah, I mean I don’t know what their plans are, but I guess if they ever wanted to do something like that, I’d always be up for that conversation,’ the 40-year-old responded.
‘Len was so wicked, and he was always there to give advice to all of us. He always had his feet on the ground. He was like the Daddy of Strictly, wasn’t he?’
Continuing to shower the late Dancing With The Stars judge with praise, he added: ‘He was brilliant and we all loved him, and I also have a really nice relationship with Strictly still, so yeah – I’d always be up for those kinds of conversations.’
In the statement confirming Len’s death, his agent Jackie Gill said: ‘It is with great sadness to announce that Len Goodman has passed away peacefully, aged 78.
‘A much loved husband, father and grandfather who will be sorely missed by family, friends and all who knew him.’
Following Goodman’s death, Clifton shared a post on Instagram detailing how long they’d known each other, and the guidance that he received from the legendary judge on his first day of Strictly.
‘Len Goodman judged me in competitions since I was a kid,’ he wrote in his caption.
‘On my first day at @bbcstrictly I asked him for any advice and he said , “Just enjoy every moment. Don’t get too big for your boots and take it for granted, cos we’re just a bunch of ballroom dancers trying to make our way and this is the biggest opportunity that’s ever happened for us.”‘
The Strictly Ballroom Tour star later shared a clip from his first season of competing, when Goodman sparked laughter by saying that his partner, Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid, came out ‘all bounce, bum and bongos’.
Clifton’s Who Do You Think You Are? episode takes him on a wild and unexpected journey, as he traces his lineage back to Canada, much to his huge surprise.
Explaining how ‘blown away’ he was when he was told that he’d be flying to Canada during filming, he told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was mind blown immediately and then every day just felt like like Christmas morning. You waking up and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
‘They’re going to take you to places and and give you these gifts of your family history, these amazing stories, and you’re gonna meet these amazing people.’
Kevin Clifton’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? is due to air on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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