Kevin Clifton 'to quit Strictly Come Dancing amid rift with estranged wife Karen'

10 December 2018, 08:40 | Updated: 10 December 2018, 08:44

'Strictly Come Dancing 2018' - Red Carpet Launch
Karen and Kevin split during Strictly last year . Picture: Getty

Rising tensions with estranged wife Karen Clifton following their split last year, could see the professional dancer walk from the ballroom as BBC bosses scramble to find his replacement.

Kevin Clifton,36, could be leaving Strictly Come Dancing despite being the bookies favourite to win the show with partner Stacey Dooley, 31, in next week's final due to 'tension' with estranged wife Karen Clifton, 36.

A source revealed: “Kevin has been overheard backstage saying he feels the time is right for him to move on and that winning the contest won’t weigh heavily on his decision.

“He has absolutely loved his time on the show and the opportunities that it’s given him but he is getting itchy feet and there’s still tension with Karen. While things are slowly getting more civil between them, it’s not exactly fun spending time around your ex.”

Read more: Inside Karen and Kevin Clifton's divorce

The Sun reports the news comes as a relief for show bosses, as Kevin had been centre of speculation regarding the 'strictly curse' after both Susanna Reid and Louise Redknapp split from their respective partners Dominic Cotton and Jamie Redknapp while paired with the dancer.

It's claimed Kevin is now eyeing a move to theatre, after he dropped out of the Strictly tour to star as Stacee Jaxx in West End musical Rock Of Ages, in addition to running a dance academy with his sister, former Strictly champ Joanne.

The source continued: “Kevin has definitely been influenced by the turn Joanne’s career has taken since leaving Strictly.

“She was only on it for two years but has become a leading lady in musical theatre off the back of it. He’s also planning to put a lot more time into his dance academy and would like to explore more work projects with his sister.”