Kevin Clifton, 36, scooped the win alongside his girlfriend Stacey Dooley, 32, after the dancing duo were crowned winners of Strictly Come Dancing last year. The Grimsby born dancer joined presenter Rob Moore on the Disruptive Entrepreneur Podcast where he claimed former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, 36, and Steps singer Faye Tozer, 43, “had a big task on their hands” because of their dancing backgrounds. Speaking on the podcast, Kevin said: “There were two girls in the final. One of them from the Pussycat Dolls and one of them from Steps. Both lovely and both brilliant dancers. “They were brilliant from week one because they’re professional dancers before their pro partners were professional dancers.”
Kevin then suggested the pair were unable to get the public behind them because viewers prefer to see “an underdog” secure the win.
Rob asked: “Could you argue it was harder for them because the expectation was higher?”
Kevin replied: “I think it was easier for them to get to the final. Where the judges have nothing to do with it and it comes down to the public vote in the final I think they had a big task on their hands to convince the public to vote for them to win.
“I think everyone loved them and enjoyed what they were doing. I don’t think anyone had anything against them but to inspire someone to get behind them.”
He concluded: “It’s a funny thing in this country, I think we love an underdog. Someone whose really good from the beginning, we immediately take against them.”
Both Ashley and Faye made it to the finals of the Strictly competition but lost out to documentary-filmmaker, Stacey.
Meanwhile, Kevin offered words of encouragement to his co-star Graziano di Prima after he confirmed he will not be having a celebrity partner on the BBC show this year.
In view of his 75,000 Instagram followers, the Italian dancer said: “Just letting all the fans know that I will not have a celeb partner this series, but don’t worry…I’m not going anywhere!
“You will see me every Saturday/Sunday nights in all our amazing group dances, on It Takes Two and across the series. We have some amazing routines already and I can’t wait for you to see them all!”
He finished: “To my fellow pro’s, good luck for a magical series! Let’s do this and I love you all.”
Referencing his sister Joanne Clifton, Kevin replied: “Mate my sister was the same in her 2nd series. In her 3rd series she won! You’re one of the best dancers I know so get ready to OWN 2020!”
Graziano is not the only pro dancer to have been removed from the main line up.
Strictly favourite Gorka Marquez also announced he too would not be getting a celebrity partner.
Alongside a picture of himself, he said in view of his 414,000 followers: “For everybody that’s been asking, I can let you know that this series, I sadly won’t be partnered with a celebrity for the main series of Strictly.
“However, I will still be heavily involved in all of the group numbers and all things Strictly! “I’m excited to see this year’s celebs and my fellow professionals dance for the Glitter Ball and I hope to be back fighting for it next year.
“As always, it’s gonna be a GREAT series.”
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One next month.