STACEY Dooley and Kevin Clifton were pictured on a secret hotel date back in January.
The couple’s blossoming romance was an open secret on the Strictly live tour but it was kept secret from the public and Stacey’s long-term boyfriend.
It has now been revealed how Stacey and Kevin enjoyed a hotel date together months before their relationship was revealed.
The journalist and the dancer were spotted entering the same hotel minutes apart in Birmingham after a tour date.
Last week heartbroken Sam Tucknott told The Sun on Sunday how two weeks ago he found a text from Kevin to Stacey saying “I love you”.
He and Stacey, 32, officially ended their five-year relationship — and she admitted she’d fallen for three-time divorcee Kevin, 36.
Strictly pro Kevin followed shortly after as the pair’s secret dating has been revealed[/caption]
He was branded a ‘slimy rat’ by Stacey’s boyfriend[/caption]
Personal trainer Sam, 30, then confronted the pro dancer and branded him a “slimy snake”.
On Sunday, following the revelation, Stacey liked a Twitter post that read: “Forgive not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace.”
A source on the tour, which started on January 18, said she angered cast and crew by gushing about Kevin, who wasn’t involved but often visited shows.
A source said: “Everyone believed romance was blossoming between them.
“Kevin was a regular feature. He’d cheer on Stacey when he could, then spend time with her and the others at the hotel.
“Stacey didn’t hide the fact she wasn’t happy at home and barely mentioned Sam.”
Kevin was spotted at the cast’s hotel in Birmingham on January 19. Eight days later he watched Stacey dance with pro star Aljaž Škorjanec, 29, in Manchester and spent time with her afterwards.
The source added: “Stacey was a really popular member of the group but when she started getting closer to Kevin it upset some dancers and celebrities.
“As far as they were concerned, she did still have a boyfriend.
“Her relationship with Kevin raised eyebrows even though they insisted it was friendship.
“Stacey would spend a lot of time speaking to Kevin and about Kevin with the others.
“At first it seemed she was being that way because he was her dance partner and couldn’t take part in the tour because of his Rock Of Ages musical.
“As time passed everyone suspected something might be going on. But no one called them out.”
CURSE QUIZ Who’s foxtrotted off with a dance partner on Strictly? Test your knowledge with our tricky quiz
Their close bond was formed during their stint on Strictly.
In a tell-tale gesture that helped convince fans the pair would share romance, Stacey gripped Kevin’s bum.
The celeb contender ‘angered Strictly cast and crew’ on the live tour by gushing about Kevin[/caption]
The pro dancer ‘spent time with her and others at the hotel’ even though he wasn’t on the tour[/caption]
The squeeze came after their semi-final Charleston scored 39 out of 40.
She also patted Kevin’s bottom after another successful routine.
They were tactile in nearly every performance, despite Sam watching from the audience.
After they won the Glitterball trophy in December, Kevin credited Stacey with helping him through a “tough year” following his divorce from his wife of three years, fellow Strictly pro Karen.
Sam, who lived with Stacey in Brighton, told The Sun on Sunday how he found a text from Kevin on her phone in November which said he loved spending “every minute of the day” with her.
In December she cancelled an evening out with Sam to join Kevin who was watching his sister Joanne perform in London.
The following month Sam found a receipt for cupcakes which Stacey had sent to Kevin ahead of his new stage show.
After the April 1 text discovery Sam confronted Kevin in a FaceTime videocall, revealing: “I just stuck it on him — ‘You’re an absolute rat, how you conducted yourself. A slippery, slimy snake’. He didn’t say a word, he looked petrified, so shocked.”
Sam added: “Looking back you think, ‘You thick f***er’ but I just didn’t want to believe it.”
On Sunday Kevin and Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima posted a video from rehearsals for their dance show Burn The Floor which starts in Southport, Merseyside, on Thursday.
Stacey is in Colorado, US, working on a new documentary.
The Sun has contacted their representatives for comment.
4 the score
KEVIN’S name has cropped up in relation to four Strictly “curse” splits . . . including Stacey and Sam.
Kev and his third wife Karen Clifton, who is also a dancer on the show, called it a day in 2017 after admitting Strictly had strained their marriage.
Kev and his third wife Karen Clifton called it a day in 2017[/caption]
A year before that, his celeb Louise Redknapp split with her football pundit hubby Jamie[/caption]
In 2013 Kevin’s celeb Susanna Reid broke up with the father of her two sons, Dominic Cotton[/caption]
In fact, they were barely speaking by the end.
A year before that, his celeb Louise Redknapp split with her football pundit hubby Jamie after a decade.
And in 2013 Kevin’s celeb Susanna Reid broke up with the father of her two sons, Dominic Cotton, following 16 years together.
There is no suggestion singer Louise or GMB’s Susanna had flings with Kev.
Celeb yet one more ‘dancing’ hypocrite
YOU can hardly blame Darcey Bussell for privately branding Strictly Come Dancing sleazy before she decided to foxtrot off the BBC1 hit.
To be honest, that’s an understatement — it is a sex fest, with more bedroom action behind-the-scenes each series than Love Island.
Even holier-than-thou Stacey Dooley MBE is just like all the others.
Asking a hapless long-term partner to come along to watch her perform, playing the happy couple for the cameras . . . only for him to find out much later on that she really has been doing the rumba with pro partner Kevin.
In the process, she has humiliated her real partner on national telly before dumping him.
And what is it with this bloke Kevin from Grimsby? At my count, that’s at least three relationships that have broken down after the wife or girlfriend was partnered with him.
Is it about time for his bosses to step in and suggest this might not be the most professional of behaviour?
Strictly insiders tell me even more bedroom tango takes place on the national tour, when the prying eyes of producers and media are far away.
So please never again try and tell me Strictly is a lovely family show all about dance moves.
As for Dooley, thank goodness her poor boyfriend had the guts to show the public what this lady is all about: Finding fame at any cost.
- By Dan Wootton, Executive Editor
MOST READ IN TV & SHOWBIZ
A stirrer of emotions
SPOON-faced love rat Kevin Clifton is getting a lot of stick.
But I’ll let you into a secret — I still love him.
Thousands of women across Britain will feel the same today. Three marriages and three Strictly curses down, he should be Kryptonite.
Instead, even his ex- wives rally to his defence.
The problem is he’s just so damn likeable.
Until the show becomes Strictly Come Morris Dancing, every female celeb is in danger of falling for him.
Because it’s one short waltz from the ballroom to the bedroom — and a leopard doesn’t cha-cha-change his spots.
- By Bella Battle, Sun Writer
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