KEVIN Clifton looked in good spirits as he was seen for the first time since it was revealed he’s dating Stacey Dooley.
The Strictly Come Dancing professional flashed a smile as he hung out with mates, after Stacey’s ex Sam Tucknott branded him an “absolute rat” for pursuing a romance with her.
Sam – who dated Stacey for five years and supported her throughout her Strictly journey with Kevin – was left furious when he discovered they were in a relationship.
The personal trainer told The Sun On Sunday that he and the TV star had agreed to split and were clearing their flat when the message flashed up on her mobile which revealed Kevin's true feelings.
He revealed: “I was getting my stuff to leave. Stacey was in the loo.
“Her phone went and it was Kevin Clifton — ‘I love you’ with a red love heart.”
Stacey, 32, then texted him at 8.33pm that day — April 1 — to explain she’d fallen for Kevin, 36, who she won the last series with.
She wrote: “Sam, I know you hate me at the moment.
“But you saw I didn’t start entertaining and texting him (Kevin) until I split up with you. I was not with you when we started it all.
“I did fall for him but when we were done. I will tell you anything you want to know.”
Heartbroken Sam replied: “I don’t hate you Stacey. I hate what you’ve done.”
Stacey insists she and Sam separated following a row on Boxing Day — becoming the 15th couple to fall foul of the show’s curse.
Today she broke her silence about the situation – insisting there are two sides to every story.
The documentary maker told fans: "Anyone with any adult life experience knows there are 2 sides to every story.
"I haven’t got the time or energy to correct some of the utter nonsense I’ve read on here.
"Re Sam, I loved him v much and only wish him happiness and success going forward."
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