Entertainment

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Stacey Dooley crowned Strictly Come Dancing champion

Her win marks the first time her professional partner Kevin Clifton has triumphed in the final.

Strictly Come Dancing 2018 winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)
Strictly Come Dancing 2018 winners Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

By Alex Green, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Stacey Dooley has been crowned the winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2018.

The documentary maker and her professional partner Kevin Clifton came out top of a public vote in Saturday night’s final after three months of competition.

Dooley, 31, beat fellow finalists Ashley Roberts, Faye Tozer and Joe Sugg to claim the glitterball trophy.

Clifton, well-loved by viewers of the show, has appeared in five Strictly finals. This was the first time he had been partnered with a winner.

Dooley, from Luton, and Clifton, from Grimsby, were embraced by the show’s dancers and celebrities on the Strictly dancefloor after their win.

Dooley was at first speechless. However, after a moment she turned to Clifton, dedicating her win to him.

She told him: “I should say something quite poignant, shouldn’t I? You know how highly I think of you. I think you are the biggest gem. It’s no surprise you have been in the final as many times as you have.

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The pair wowed in a final that saw the four contestants score the most perfect scores of any final (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

“It’s daunting doing something you haven’t done before. But he’s so patient and he walks you through. You so deserve this. You so deserve this.”

The professional dancer replied: “Thank you so much, not just for being so amazing and for dancing so well, but for being the most wonderful person to work with, to spend every day training with.

“You’ve worked so hard. You are so lovely and I think the absolute world of you.”

The tense series finale saw Roberts and Tozer both achieve perfect scores, earning a total of 40 in each of their three dances on the night.

Claudia Winkleman said the group had collectively broken the record for most 40s in a final.

Earlier in the night, host Tess Daly had reminded viewers that the judges’ scores were for “guidance only” and it would be those watching at home who decided the winner.

This proved important for Dooley, who took home the glitterball trophy despite scoring the lowest total score of the night.

Press Association

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