Kevin Clifton is poised to quit Strictly Come Dancing in the new year over tensions with his estranged wife Karen.
The Grimsby-raised dancer, 36, is said to be ready to move on and focus on a West End career like his younger sister Joanne, who left the BBC talent show in 2017.
The Sun claims Kev’s theatre dreams, as well as his difficult relationship with his ex, are the driving force behind his decision to leave the show after five years.
A BBC source told The Sun on Sunday: "Kevin has been overheard backstage saying he feels the time is right for him to move on and that winning the contest won’t weigh heavily on his decision.
Kevin Clifton is said to be planning his exit from Strictly Come Dancing
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"He has absolutely loved his time on the show and the opportunities that it’s given him but he is getting itchy feet and there’s still tension with Karen. While things are slowly getting more civil between them, it’s not exactly fun spending time around your ex."
The professional dancers split earlier this year after three years of marriage, having been an item since 2011.
While they still dance together on the show, insiders have claimed their ‘friendship’ is simply a professional pretence for the sake of Strictly.
Kevin and Karen in happier times in 2016
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In the new year, Kevin will be joining the UK tour of Rock Of Ages from 22 January until 6 April, so will miss the Strictly Come Dancing live tour.
Instead, his partner Stacey Dooley will be partnered with Aljaž Škorjanec.
Following Rock Of Ages, Kevin will then spend two months leading the Burn The Floor UK tour with fellow Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima.
Kevin has made it to the final four times in his previous five years on the show and fans predict he will be in his fifth final next weekend with partner Stacey Dooley.
Mirror Online has contacted Kevin’s spokesperson for comment.
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