Kevin Clifton has quit Strictly Come Dancing.
The professional dancer, who won the series alongside his now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley in 2018, announced the news on social media.
He joined the BBC show's professional line-up in 2013.
Announcing the news on social media, he wrote: "To the entire Strictly family,
"The past 7 years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life. I am grateful to the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing for giving me the opportunity to have been a part of something truly special.
"Since first being called ‘Kevin From Grimsby’ by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013 I have experienced the highs of 5 finals, winning a Guinness World record on It Takes Two, the Strictly Arena tour glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley.
"After finishing last series with the Children In Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.
"I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all of my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have made always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for.
"Thank you to anyone who has ever voted for me and my partners. It means the world.
"And a special thank you to Jason Gilkison for always believing in me.
"To me Strictly always has been and always will be the best show on tv and has been an absolute dream and honour to be a part of.
"Pre 2013 I used to watch every week. Now I look forward to returning to being a fan and cheering on my friends who keep dancing."
Kevin won the show for the first time ever in 2018, alongside documentary maker Stacey.
There was a lot of speculation at the time about their relationship, but they denied there was anything romantic going on until they went public after the series had ended.
They have since moved in together.
Kevin was married to fellow Strictly pro Karen Hauer from 2015 to 2018.
A spokesperson for the BBC said: "Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for the past seven years.
"From reaching the final an impressive five times, to lifting the Glitterball with Stacey Dooley in 2018, he has provided the show with some fantastic moments, through his exceptional talent as a dancer and choreographer.
"He will be hugely missed by fans and by his Strictly family. He will always be our Kevin from Grimsby."
Kevin's fans were devastated by the news.
One replied to his post: "Absolutely gutted"
"Ahhh King Kev," another posted.
It Takes Two host Zoe Ball also reacted to the news.
She wrote: "KING KEV thank you for the telly gold. You will be so missed but know
great adventures lie ahead for you @keviclifton".
Stacey also paid tribute to her man, hinting that they could be working together on something soon.
Sharing a selfie, she wrote: "…will always be the King of Strictly.
"Well done darlin.
"Watch this space!!!!"
Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us direct 0207 29 33033
Source: Read Full Article