Former Strictly Come Dancing star Kevin Clifton furiously defended the BBC after claims it was “woke” for casting Rose Ayling-Ellis, Strictly’s first deaf contestant, and John Whaite and Johannes Radebe as the show’s first all-male partnership.
The conversation arose on an episode of his self-titled podcast, The Kevin Clifton Show, earlier this month.
A caller named Sharon rang in to talk about the impact Rose and Giovanni’s Couple’s Choice routine had on her.
The emotional dance incorporated a silent moment as a tribute to the deaf community.
Sharon said: “I have been watching Strictly since day one, and this year in particular has transcended all sorts of stereotypes for people of all abilities and all ages.
“I know we have mentioned it, but I honestly think that was the greatest dance in the whole of Strictly… it was much more than a dance… it’s the first time I’ve seen a moment like that on mainstream TV.
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“It has got people talking and it has got people talking about the right things. And for me, that is what Strictly is all about.”
Kevin agreed with the caller and highlighted the “power of the show, what it can do and what it can represent”.
He continued to say that he “rolls [his] eyes” when people accused the show of being “woke” when this year’s cast was announced.
Kevin said: “You know, you’ve got two lads dancing together and Rose is deaf.
“It was wonderful, just wonderful. It almost transcended being a dance on Strictly. It was an incredible moment.”
Kevin has been vocal that he believes Rose and Giovanni will win the competition and lift the Glitterball trophy when Strictly concludes on December 18.
However, Kevin also said that even if Rose and Giovanni aren’t victorious, they have already won in his eyes.
He said: “I think they will win the Glitterball, but even if they don’t, they have won…Rose and Giovanni have had an incredible series that no one will ever forget.”