Kevin Clifton returned to Strictly Come Dancing last night – here’s why

kevin clifton strictly return
(Image credit: Getty)

Kevin Clifton returned to Strictly Come Dancing last night.

The professional dancer won Strictly Come Dancing last year with now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley, but this season was partnered with TV presenter and broadcaster Anneka Rice who he was eliminated with in the second week of the series.

But the Strictly favourite made a comeback last night when another professional dancer was taken ill and the former winner stepped in to replace him.

Dancer Neil Jones, who is partnered up with ex-footballer and sports pundit Alex Scott, was forced to pull out of last night’s live show due to an injury.

And to make sure contestant Alex could still compete in this week’s dance, Kevin stepped in to partner up with her.

A photo posted by on

Taking to his Instagram stories to share the sad news that he wouldn’t be competing, Neil Jones wrote a statement to his 206,000 followers, reading, ‘I’m gutted tonight I won’t be able to dance because I was injured earlier today but I know @alexscott2 will smash it tonight, she’s worked hard all week and she’s in safe hands with @kevinclifton.

And contestant Alex didn’t let the major change hamper her performance, managing to be awarded with impressive nine scores from across the board, giving her highest score yet.

And regular partner Neil took to his Instagram stories to congratulate the pair on their incredible performance.

‘Proud is not the word,’ he wrote. ‘alexscott2 just went out there under pressure and smashed that routine.

‘@kevinclifton thank you so much for what you have done tonight it means a lot to me’.

Taking to his Instagram page, Kevin also commented on the shake-up.

Sharing a snap of him and Alex in their get-up from last night’s performance with his 350,000 followers, Kevin wrote, ‘Unbelievable performance frim @alexscott2 last. @mr_njonesofficial and myself were so proud of her.

A photo posted by on

‘At the last minute her partner gets an injury. Has to pass the routine on to another professional in about 45mins. Then even when i made a mistake she carried on and got me through the routine.

Talk about calm under pressure.

‘Just shows how difficult it is to get to a performance on a Saturday that comes together. It also shows how far @alexscott2 has come in 6 weeks and what fantastic work @mr_njonesofficial has been doing.

‘They both deserve so much love.

‘Hopefully you’ll be back on your feet Neill. I want to see you 2 do that routine together in the final! ♥️’.

Aleesha Badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is digital shopping writer at woman&home - so whether you're looking for beauty, fashion, health or home buys, she knows all the best places to splash your cash. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 after graduating from University of Leeds in 2014 with a BA in English and Spanish (which took her to Madrid for a fun Rioja and tapas-packed year). Aleesha has worked for woman&home since 2019, when she joined the team as their digital news writer. A year on the news team gained her quick and reactive writing skills and a love for breaking stories, invaluable insight into where to get the best lifestyle releases first, an AOP awards nomination and the nickname ‘crazy watch lady’ after she became so obsessed with the royals that she followed breaking news alerts on her Apple Watch.

Before joining the woman&home team, Aleesha wrote for their sister site GoodtoKnow, where she covered celebrity news, health advice and where to snap up the cheapest lifestyle buys. With a background in beauty, Aleesha has also written for Stylist and Women’s Health where she developed an understanding into what makes a stellar product and which brands are worth paying attention to. She never leaves the house without a slick of lip balm and a good slathering of SPF, cannot live without an eyelash curler by her side and is always on the hunt for new lipsticks to add to her ‘Lipstick of the Day’ Instagram story highlight (and color-coordinated collection).

But it’s not just beauty buys Aleesha can help you with. Social media savviness, strong PR relationships and a need to stay in the know mean she’s all about the latest fashions, clever gadgets and reliable lifestyle buys too. She loves indulging in an interior craze (with a bedroom drowned in prints, plants and pink), is a regular visitor to the Missoma and Edge of Ember 'New In' pages and can’t resist the allure of a kitchen gadget—just ask her three coffee machines.

When she’s not playing around with new products and testing anything she can get her hands on, Aleesha spends most of her time with her head in a current bestseller, catching up on the latest Netflix craze with her sister, trying out new recipes, drinking wine with her bestie and (in non-COVID times) has been known to be a bit of a jetsetter amongst her friendship group. Oh and she makes the most of her Disney+ subscription by watching the Marvel films on repeat (definitely not just for Chris Evans...).

Follow her latest shopping & lifestyle advice, beauty insights and social antics on Instagram at @aleeshabadkar.

Twitter: @aleeshabadkar

LinkedIn: aleesha-badkar