After announcing her pregnancy on Instagram in August last year, TV presenter Stacey Dooley has given birth to her and partner Kevin Clifton’s first child. Their daughter marks the first child for both Dooley and Clifton, who got together after being paired up during Strictly Come Dancing.
This is everything you need to know.
When did Stacey Dooley have her baby?
Dooley welcomed her first child on Tuesday (17 January), a daughter named Minnie, with her partner former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kevin Clifton.
Sharing a photograph on Instagram of a piece of paper with the words “Minnie’s parents”, Dooley said: “Our Daughter is here. My little masterpiece! I’m COMPLETELY OBSESSED.
“Love you Minnie, Love you Kev x”.
Meanwhile, Clifton, who shared the same image, wrote: “Our daughter is here. The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. So proud of u @sjdooley. Love u Minnie , Love u Stace x.”
On Tuesday, a number of famous faces took to social media to congratulate the pair, including fellow Strictly Come Dancing stars, like judge Motsi Mabuse, who wrote: “Congratulations my friend!! It’s the beginning of a very exciting capital of your life ! I wish you all best.”
Other Strictly professionals past and present, including Janette Manrara, Joanne Clifton, Graziano Di Prima, Nancy Xu and Amy Dowden also took to social media to send their well-wishes to the couple.
How long have Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton been together?
Dooley has been with Clifton since 2019, after the pair met when they were coupled up during the 16th season of Strictly Come Dancing in August 2018. The two actually won their season, beating out runners-up Joe Sugg, Faye Tozer and Ashley Roberts to take home the glitterball trophy.
After much speculation from the media and Strictly Come Dancing fans, the two confirmed their relationship in 2019 on social media.
During their time on Strictly, the pair received high praise for their 1960s-themed foxtrot to Jeff Beck’s Hi Ho Silver Lining, which saw them top the leaderboard and perform again in the final.
Clifton joined the dancing competition as a professional in 2013, and in March 2020 announced his departure from the show before going on to land the lead in Strictly Ballroom The Musical – taking on the role of Scott Hastings in the theatre production based on Baz Luhrmann’s 1992 film.
Are they married?
Dooley and Clifton are not married, with Dooley previously joking that she was in no rush to walk down the aisle with Clifton because he would “end up divorcing her”.
During an episode of Stacey Sleeps Over, Dooley said: “I don’t think I want to get married. I think I’d be more interested in starting a family than getting married.”
She added: “I can’t think of anything worse than being a [traditional wife]. I would be useless, completely and utterly useless. He’d divorce me in a heartbeat.”
Clifton has been married and divorced three times - he first tied the knot when he was just 20 with his dance partner at the time. They stayed together for three years before going their separate ways.
Talking to the Mail Online, Clifton said: “We got to a stage where we were at the top of our game, but we hadn’t won a world championship. We were approached and told if we paid the right people, took certain classes with certain pro teachers, we would be guaranteed the title. It would cost more than £10,000 in all and I just felt somewhere it had gone wrong.”
He continued: “My parents believed we could win without it, but I wanted to walk away from the whole thing. I fell out of love with it. My wife divorced me because it was her life. I fell into depression because everything I’d put my life into had burst apart.”
His second marriage was to professional dancer Clare Craze in 2007, when Clifton was 24. He and Craze performed together on the international tour of the dance show Burn the Floor, but by 2010 Clifton says that they had “drifted apart” and eventually separated, with their divorce finalised in 2013.
Clifton then went on to marry another professional dancer, Karen Hauer whom he met whilst he was performing with Burn the Floor. Whilst he and Hauer were dating, she joined Strictly Come Dancing as a professional in 2012, with Clifton joining the show the following year. They got married in 2015, but in March 2018 Clifton confirmed that they were no longer together.
Speaking on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show, Clifton said: “Privately we are not together anymore but professionally we are stronger than ever before.”
He added: “Dance is how we came together and is what glues us together. We’re still the best of friends - we still have a lot of love and respect for each other. What we’ve found is that since we’ve been honest with each other it’s unlocked our creativity.”