Kevin Clifton has thanked celebrity partner Anneka Rice following their elimination from the current series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The pair crashed out of the BBC show during Sunday evening’s Movie Week after their Charleston, choreographed to Woo-Hoo from Kill Bill: Volume 1, failed to impress the judging panel.
And taking to Twitter shortly afterwards, Kevin, 36, broke his silence on their early departure, and thanked the former 90s pin-up, 61, for her hard work during their three weeks together.
Reaching out: Kevin Clifton has thanked celebrity partner Anneka Rice following their elimination from the current series of Strictly Come Dancing
He wrote: ‘Thank u @AnnekaRice for a lovely few weeks. You worked so hard and in a short space of time started dancing with your heart.
‘Good luck to all the other contestants. Its going to be a cracking @bbcstrictly series.’
Anneka, best know for her presenting roles on Treasure Hunt and Challenge Anneka – later returned the compliment by crediting Clifton following their exit.
Credit: Taking to Twitter shortly afterwards, Kevin thanked the former 90s pin-up for her hard work during their three weeks together
The feeling’s mutual: Anneka, best know for her presenting roles on Treasure Hunt and Challenge Anneka – later returned the compliment by crediting Clifton following their exit
‘Well. That was like running away to the circus,’ she added. ‘What an adventure! Thank you everyone for your support and special love to @kevinclifton for unflinching loyalty & kindness.
‘And patience like I’ve never seen! I’ve certainly discovered a new me.’
Clifton’s girlfriend and fellow reigning champion Stacey Dooley, 32, also took to social media to throw her support behind the dancer.
Cheerleader: Stacey Dooley took to social media to throw her support behind Kevin Clifton, after he and veteran TV presenter Anneka Rice became the second pair to be voted off Strictly
Stacey, who won the show with Kevin in 2018 before becoming his girlfriend, uploaded a video of support while on the set of her BBC series Glow Up.
Speaking into the camera, she said: ‘I know everyone’s just found out that Kev and Anneka have just got knocked out this weekend. And I just wanted to say that I am so proud of both of them but particularly Kevin.
‘I just think he’s the most incredible teacher and I think she [Anneka] was so lucky to have had him and she did that beautiful waltz.’
She continued: ‘It’s very easy to be proud of someone when you’re winning and flying high and it’s all going brilliantly, but it’s also very important to tell them that you think they’re wicked when they’re the second to get knocked out!’
Supportive partner: I just wanted to say that I am so proud of both of them but particularly Kevin. I just think he’s the most incredible teacher and I think she was so lucky to have had him’
Though he was gracious in defeat onscreen, The Sun reports that it was a different story backstage, with Clifton reportedly telling his fellow pros ‘I told you so’.
His alleged comments were in reference to his pre-series prediction that he would have difficulty in getting Anneka up to standard so they could go far in the competition.
A source told the publication: ‘Kevin adores Anneka as a person but professionally he knew his chances of making another final were over, especially as she’s struggled with injury and fitness.
Reigning champions: Stacey, who won the show with Kevin in 2018 before becoming his girlfriend, uploaded a video of support while on the set of her BBC series Glow Up.
‘Going out in the second week was humiliating for him. In his eyes he’s ‘King Kev’ – and he’s done phenomenal routines with his previous partners.’
During his Strictly career, Kevin has been in every final (bar 2017) since he joined the show in 2013.
But despite his reported anger at being knocked out, the dancing star still has love for Anneka.
The insider added: ‘He’s got a friend for life in Anneka and he loved working with her. But this series is one he wants to forget.’
Fuming? Though he was gracious in defeat onscreen, The Sun reports that it was a different story backstage, with Kevin reportedly telling his fellow pros ‘I told you so’
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Strictly and Kevin for comment.
Sunday’s results show saw The Challenge Anneka star, who celebrated her 61st birthday on Friday and came bottom of the leaderboard on Saturday, unanimously voted off.
As she learned of her fate with ballroom partner Kevin, the bubbly TV personality remained positive, telling show host Tess Daly: ‘To be honest, I’d have saved David and Nadiya [Bychkova]. I’ve just loved this whole thing.’
Last dance: Anneka and her dance partner Kevin became the second ballroom couple to be eliminated from Strictly on Sunday evening
‘I’ve not one negative about the whole experience,’ she continued as she stood beside her dance partner. ‘We’ve worked really hard, I’m covered in bruises.’
Further acknowledging Kevin, she said: ‘I love this man; it’s been a joy to have that honour, that privilege of learning to dance. It’s a whole new world to me, Tess. I love all that gang up there! Now I’ve got 11 and a half [dance] moves!
‘My son is getting married next year, I’m determined to be able to shuffle onto the dance floor and not do my usual thing of handing out the canapes.’
Bottom two: The TV personality was in the bottom two with David James and Nadiya Bychkova
Had a ball: Anneka said that she ‘loved’ her time on the show as she spoke with host Tess Daly
All smiles: The 61-year-old star beamed as she hugged her competitors while saying goodbye
Kevin had equally glowing words for the TV star, as he told her: ‘You’ve put in so much commitment and so much effort.
‘We worked about four hours on one step on that Charleston and you delivered that waltz last week… then to come out and deliver that Charleston – the improvement you’ve made, I’m so proud of you, it’s been an absolute joy.’
The pair’s early exit was particularly notable, as Kevin is currently Strictly’s reigning champ, having secured the coveted Glitterball with his now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley.
This weekend, the stars competing on Strictly were tasked with giving their best Hollywood-inspired performances as they rook to the dancefloor for Movie Week.
However, Anneka and David found themselves facing off on the dancefloor during Sunday’s episode, after failing to overly impress judges and placing at the bottom of the leaderboard with scores of 11 and 16, respectively.
Dance moves: Charleston to Woo Hoo by The 22.214.171.124’s from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill
In character: The Challenge Anneka star dressed as Uma Thurman’s Bride from the 2003 film
Points: Despite the ballroom couple’s efforts, they scored 11 out of 40, landing at the bottom
Their scores from judges Shirley Ballas, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli, and Craig Revel Horwood were combined with the viewers’ votes to decide the bottom two.
With both couples required to perform their routines again, Anneka and Kevin hit the dancefloor once again for their Charleston to Woo Hoo by The 126.96.36.199’s from the Quentin Tarantino movie Kill Bill.
David and Nadiya performed their American Smooth to Kiss From A Rose by Seal, taken from the movie Batman Forever, in a bid to remain in the competition.
However, Anneka’s efforts in the ballroom proved futile as she was sent home with a unanimous vote, with Craig explaining: ‘For commitment and improvement, I’d like to save David and Nadiya.’
Champ: The pair’s early exit was particularly notable, as Kevin is currently Strictly’s reigning champ, having secured the coveted Glitterball with his now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley
Danced her way into my heart: Months after their win, the pair went public with their romance
Motsi said of her decision to save David: ‘I felt a more emotional show, a stronger couple – I’m going to save David and Nadiya.’
Bruno said: ‘I would go for the couple that was more convincing and that delivered more under pressure, the performance was up a notch from Saturday night. David and Nadiya.’
And while the three votes preceding hers sealed David’s position for the next week, head judge Shirley admitted: ‘Yes, I would have also saved David and Nadiya.’
Sunday’s Results show opened with a journey through the movies dancing to cinematic classics with our professional dancers, as well as Grammy and Emmy Award winner Harry Connick Jr. singing the Broadway classic Anything Goes.
The remaining 13 couples will take to the dancefloor next week when Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 12th October at 6.40pm on BBC One.
Saved: The judges voted unanimously to save David James and his partner Nadiya Bychkova
Staying in the competition: During the dance-off, David and Nadiya performed their American Smooth to Kiss From A Rose by Seal, taken from the film Batman Forever
Hollywood: This weekend’s instalment featured the stars in costume for the theme Movie Week
Strictly Movie Week: Leaderboard
Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse: ‘Trip A Little Light Fantastic’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda from Mary Poppins Returns – Charleston – 38 points
Dev Griffin and Dianne Buswell: ‘Friend Like Me’ by Will Smith from Aladdin – Couples’ Choice – 36 points
Michelle Visage and Giovanni Pernice: ‘Cabaret’ by Liza Minelli from Cabaret – Quickstep – 35 points
Catherine Tyldesley and Johannes Radebe: ‘Shallow’ by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from A Star Is Born – Rumba – 32 points
Saffron Barker and AJ Pritchard: ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ by Lorde from The Hunger Games – Paso Doble – 28 points
Emma Weymouth and Aljaž Škorjanec: ‘Downton Abbey’ by John Lunn from Downton Abbey – Foxtrot – 28 points
Emma Barton and Anton Du Beke: ‘Soul Bossa Nova’ by Quincy Jones from Austin Powers – Salsa – 27 points
Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden: ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ by Karl Douglas from Kung Fu Panda – Samba – 26 points
Will Bayley and Janette Manrara: ‘Gotta Catch ‘Em All’ by Jason Paige from Pokémon – Paso Doble – 23 points
Alex Scott and Neil Jones: ‘How Far I’ll Go’ by Auli’I Cravalho from Moana – Rumba – 23 points
Chris Ramsey and Karen Hauer: ‘Cheek To Cheek’ by Frank Sinatra from Top Hat – American Smooth (Foxtrot) – 22 points
Mike Bushell and Katya Jones: ‘It’s Raining Men’ by The Weather Girls from Magic Mike – Cha Cha – 18 points
David James and Nadiya Bychkova: ‘Kiss From A Rose’ by Seal from Batman Forever – American Smooth (Viennese Waltz) – 16 points
Anneka Rice and Kevin Clifton: ‘Woo Hoo’ by The 5678’s from Kill Bill – Charleston – 11 points