Kevin Clifton, 37, has spoken out about his former dance partner Maisie Smith’s dance experience and said she was “brilliant” ahead of the return of Strictly Come Dancing 2020. The professional dancer recalled the time he and the soap star won the Children In Need’s Strictly special last year and admitted he “can’t wait” to see her back on the dance floor.
It comes after Kevin opened up about this year’s upcoming series of Strictly with his sister Joanne Clifton on his podcast The Kevin Clifton Show.
“Maisie Smith from EastEnders,” he began.
“Obviously, I’m going to be quite loyal to Maisie because she was my partner in the Children’s In Need special last year.”
He went on to say: “It was an EastEnders special and I was partnered with Maisie and she was sensational.
“For anyone who watched the Children In Need special last year, will know that Maisie can really dance.”
Kevin then told his listeners how he wasn’t expecting the Tiffany Butcher star to pick up on his choreography so quickly.
“Usually it’s a case of you show them a bit of choreography, take a few days to sort of put a routine together, I had no idea how she was going to take to it,” he continued.
“I was literally bashing out choreography and she was doing it straight away.”
19-year-old Maisie, who will be up against the likes of Jamie Laing, Bill Bailey and Nicola Adams, admitted she doesn’t have “technical ability” despite winning the show in 2019.
After Phillip Schofield mentioned she won the special during her interview on This Morning, she replied: “That was an absolute fluke.
“I’m not going to lie, I’ve got dancing experience.”
She went on to discuss: “I’ve done a bit of hip-hop and street dance throughout my time but I have no technical ability at all.”
The TV star, who is best known for starring as Tiffany Butcher on BBC’s EastEnders, then said she could be “the dark horse” of the series.
“So yeah I feel like I was very lucky on that week,” she told the hosts.
“But who knows, I could be the dark horse.”
Jacqui Smith, The Wanted’s Max George and GMB’s Ranvir Singh were also announced to be joining the show this year.