Kevin Clifton, 37, has spoken on how he failed two auditions to appear on Strictly Come Dancing to be a professional dancer as bosses weren’t too keen on his “goth” look at the time. In an attempt to win over producers, the ballroom champion “cleaned” himself up and “smartened” up with a new haircut.
Kevin explained to Digital Spy: “I sort of cleaned up my act a bit, smartened up, cut my hair, all that sort of stuff and I came on thinking, ‘I’ve been under the mask of all this sort of goth stuff for a while, who am I now? What happens now?’”
When he first appeared on the programme back in 2013, Bruce Forsyth found it easy to read his name, after many of the dancers had “difficult” names to pronounce.
He recalled: “And Bruce Forsyth was announcing us and he said, ‘We have five new dancers this year and they’re all quite difficult names to pronounce’.
“Then at the end he went, ‘finally one I can say, Kevin from Grimsby’ and that became almost like this character and I thought, ‘this is my gimmick, like this my wrestling gimmick.'”
Kevin is a firm WWE fan, and he believes that after growing up watching the show he is able to become a “character” when he performs.
He continued: “And I think because of years of watching wrestling and how it works as an entertainment show and the characters that are on it, I felt like, ‘I know what to do with this, I can run with this.’”
In order to feel confident on the show, the pro dancer played up to his “Kevin from Grimsby” reputation and little nuances of wrestling would seep into his performances.
“The whole Kevin from Grimsby thing just became like my gimmick and a lot of the time I’d use little things I’d seen on wrestling that would creep into my performances on stage.”
Susan revealed there was a particular song that the dance professional had always wanted them to perform to on the show.
However unfortunately for Kevin, things did not exactly go to plan as he did not get to use the ballad.
Susan began by discussing how the pair were originally meant to do a “show dance” to the soundtrack of Rainbow Connection, a song from the 1979 Muppets movie.
The comedian reminisced: “We were going to do our show dance, [it] was going to be to Rainbow Connection.”