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Kevin Clifton: Strictly pro suffered ‘some kind of breakdown’ after Karen Clifton split

Kevin Clifton, 36, has released a new podcast ahead of returning to Strictly Come Dancing next month, and candidly spoke about his mental health.

The professional dancer said he always worries about how he’s perceived and suffers from “anxiety, fear and imposter syndrome”.

The star said a couple of years ago, he suffered what he believes was a “breakdown”, which came after his split from wife of three-years, Karen Clifton.

Speaking about that period of his life, he said: “I don’t know how to describe it, I can only describe it as some kind of breakdown within myself, my life.

“I suppose a big thing that happened in my life was me and Karen breaking up.”

However, Kevin said it wasn’t the only factor, as he continued: “But it was happening before that in myself. I don’t want to say this lead to this, I don’t know what happened.”

He added: “It felt like it came out of nowhere, I don’t understand it all yet.”

Speaking about his insecurities, Kevin went on: “All this being co-dependent on my life and my happiness being determined on external sources, was gradually building up and building up.

“I have massive insecurities, fear, anxiety, imposter syndrome, shyness, just fear of what people are going to think of me, not even as a performer, just in every day situations.”

The Strictly Come Dancing favourite also said he had problems with alcohol and turned to drink following the breakdown of his marriage.

“I didn’t know how to deal with it,” he said. “It was affecting my work, it was affecting mine and Karen’s relationship. I didn’t know how to function as a person.”

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He continued: “I was constantly stressed out, constantly emotional, constantly sad. It got to a point, and then me and Karen ended up breaking up.

“It escalated even more after that. I started drinking more and I was more sad.”

Kevin revealed he attended a three-day event with life coach, Tony Robbins, and also received advice from Russell Brand, which helped him change his life.

The performer said the comedian challenged him to give up alcohol for two months, which Kevin completed and hasn’t had a drop since.

He said: “My life over the past year has gone from darkness, despair and self hatred to everything going so much better. I’m so much happier now than I was a year ago.”

After Kevin announced he was going to be releasing a podcast, his girlfriend and former Strictly Com Dancing celebrity partner, Stacey Dooley, praised him on Twitter.

The Grimsby-born star announced the launch date on his Twitter, to which Stacey gushed: “So excited for you all to hear how curious and interesting and brilliant he is…”

Stacey finally addressed her relationship with Kevin last month, where she said they want to keep their romance private.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on September 7.


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