STRICTLY Come Dancing champion Kevin Clifton has spoken of his love for Brighton.

The professional dancer picked up the coveted glitterball trophy with his partner Stacey Dooley.

The TV documentary maker Stacey lives in the city with her boyfriend.

The popular pair rehearsed all over the country as Stacey embarked on the tour for her new book, On The Front Line With The Women Who Fight Back.

But Kevin said the bulk of their training was in Brighton.

He said: “You usually go to wherever your partner is to train.

“I got to hang in Brighton a bit which was cool, I really like it.

“You don’t get loads of time to explore but I often went down to the beach when we had a break.

“I just think it’s a cool all-round place, I love the vibe and energy.”

Stacey, who is originally from Luton, beat YouTuber Joe Sugg and pop stars Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts in the final of the hit BBC series.

Kevin said there were some long days to get them to that point of the show.

He said: “We started off quite slowly at the start of the competition.

“She told me she wanted to hang around longer in the contest so we ended up doing 14-hour training days.

“We started at eight in the morning and finished at 10pm each night.

“When Tess said our names, as the winners, I got a tiny bit emotional about.”

Kevin also spoke about his love for Stacey’s work, having been a fan before the show. But she took him by surprise when they first met.

He said: “She was completely different to how I expected her to be.

“I was expecting her to be serious and grown up, like in her documentaries, but we got into the training room and she’s an absolute nutter, a fantastic bundle of energy.”

Kevin paid another trip to Brighton recently to see his sister, former Strictly dancer Joanne Clifton, play the role of Janet in the Rocky Horror Show at the Theatre Royal.

Joanne posted a photo of the occasion on Twitter, saying her brother was very impressed by her performance.

Kevin said: “I thought it was a brilliant show.

“Jo was really good, she’s annoyingly talented, she did a great job.

“There is a sort of silly sibling rivalry.

“We’re always bantering about one-upping each other.

“She’s been joking with me for two years about how she beat me in the final of Strictly so at least I can now repay that.”

And it won’t be long before Kevin makes another return to Brighton as he embarks on a tour with Burn The Floor, a show he had been in a decade earlier.

He said it is very much a homecoming for him to be doing the show again and he was looking forward to returning to Brighton.

Burn The Floor with Kevin Clifton comes to Brighton Dome on Monday, June 3.

Meanwhile Stacey Dooley also appears at Brighton Dome on Thursday, February 14.

For more information on both shows visit