Kevin Clifton has admitted that no-one in his family thought he could win Strictly Come Dancing 2018.
The BBC dance professional, who lifted the famous Glitterball trophy with Stacey Dooley last month, confessed that even his own parents didn’t think he could make it.
Appearing on This Morning to reveal the circumstances of his first win in six years on the show, Kevin told Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield how the lack of confidence in his performance made the result even more special.
“I’d come so close a few times, it was so amazing because I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he recalled.
“My parents were sat just to the left of us, and I thought because we were bottom of the judges’ leaderboard and Craig [Revel Horwood] had hammered us a bit, I thought there was no chance we were going to win.
“I actually looked over to my mum and dad and gave them a little shrug, as if to say ‘oh well, that’s that then’, and they gave me one back because they didn’t think we were going to win either.
“So we just had this little moment, when you watch that footage back you can see the other three couples are sort of nervously like, ‘is it going to be us?’ Then you’ve got me and Stacey like, ‘oh, okay’, not even bothered, just cool as a cucumber. We didn’t think we were going to win.”
He went on: “Then when Tess said ‘Stacey and Kevin’, my mum and dad shot up just screaming and my knees gave way, I dropped to the floor.
“It was a great night.”
Kevin’s parents – both professional dancers themselves – have spoken of their pride in their son’s achievement, which came four years after his younger sister Joanne Clifton lifted the Glitterball with partner Ore Oduba .
Dad Keith told Grimsby Live that Kevin had worked himself to the bone to win.
“His knees gave way. He was that relieved. It was shock and relief. It has been a long haul. He had been in four previous finals. He was overjoyed, not just for himself but for Stacey too. He put in 14-hour days throughout the series to try to make her a wonderful dancer,” he revealed.
“Stacey wanted to be the best she could be and he was prepared to help her all the way.”
While there are several months before the 2019 series of Strictly kicks off, plenty of celebrities have thrown their hats onto the dancefloor.
Chris Evans has already confirmed he’s signed up to the line-up, while Alan Carr has admitted he’s in talks with BBC producers.
*Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC1 this autumn