Strictly spectacular as Stacey lifts the crown
STACEY DOOLEY was crowned Strictly‘s champion as her routines wowed the judges and the public in last night’s live final.
The documentary presenter, 31, and her professional partner Kevin Clifton, 36, scored 114 out of 120 with their three dances on the BBC contest.
They performed the judges’ pick, foxtrot, to Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck, the show dance to Land Of 1,000 Dances by Wilson Pickett and the couple’s favourite dance, the pasodoble.
After 14 gruelling weeks, the favourites to win were ecstatic as they lifted the Glitterball trophy at the end of the TV favourite’s 16th series.
As Stacey, from Luton, was left speechless, Kevin said: “It is a Christmas miracle.”
Regaining her composure Stacey said: “This is amazing.” She told Grimsbyborn Kevin, who had previously been a finalist four times: “Kev, you are the biggest gem. You so deserve this.” Kevin replied: “You are so lovely and I think the absolute world of you.”
After Stacey’s first dance, which earned 39 points, head judge Shirley Ballas said: “This has been a journey for you. It has not been a walk in the park. You’ve had low scores, and high scores. What is so impressive is that you have collated everything together. Your musicality is second to none.”
Following the second, which scored 36, with only eight from Craig RevelHorwood, Stacey said: “You can’t win them all, I am glad to be here, it was what it was.” For their final dance, Stacey took on the pasodoble to Malaguena by Brian Setzer, eliciting the loudest cheer of the night and 39 points.
Bruno Tonioli hailed her “sass” while Darcey Bussell said: “For a tiny little thing you can be a very fierce lady.”
Stacey and Kevin never had a full house – their best score was 39 out of 40 with the Charleston in week 12 of the contest. Before breaking into documentaries, Stacey worked at Luton airport near her family home.
But her career took off in 2007 when she fronted Blood, Sweat and T-shirts for BBC Three, about child labour in sweatshops, and has made 11 series of her own Stacey Dooley Investigates.
And this year has been monumental with the release of her first book, On The Front Line With The Women Who Fight Back, in February.
In June she received an MBE for services to broadcasting.
The victory came after one of the most controversial series of the talent show, which saw scandal, romantic intrigue, controversy – and an unexpected ratings tussle with an old foe, ITV’s I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Comedian Seann Walsh kicked off the scandal when he was pictured outside a club kissing his married professional dance partner, Katya Jones.
DJ Vick Hope claimed Shirley had it in for her from day one and Red Dwarf ’s Danny John-Jules was accused of bullying after a bust-up with partner Amy Dowden. And viewers seemed to take against Ashley Roberts, 36, a former second-placed contestant, because of her professional dance experience.
Before the final, she appeared in three consecutive dance-offs but was saved by the judges to go through to the following week, knocking out Charles Venn, Graeme Swann and Lauren Steadman.
It was a triumphant night – although the series itself had been beaten for ratings by ITV’s reality series I’m a Celebrity which saw ex-football boss Harry Redknapp emerge victorious.
Katya Comic Seann and DANCING QUEEN: Stacey and professional partner Kevin Clifton in action