Kevin Clifton has called out Strictly Come Dancing fans for their ‘double standard’ when it comes to female celebs.
The former Strictly pro lashed out on his self-titled podcast at viewers who weren’t happy with female celebs who had dance training competing for the Glitterball trophy – despite them having no such concerns when it comes to the male end of the line-up.
Speaking with his sister Joanne Clifton about McFly star Tom Fletcher joining this year’s line-up, Kevin offered: "I feel like the general audience of Strictly Come Dancing doesn’t mind it so much if a male celebrity has a bit of training, they don’t like it when a female celebrity has training.
"That is my experience of it."
McFly frontman Tom attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School when he was younger, and then appeared in various West End musicals – including Oliver – before going on to become a pop star.
Kevin went on to reference EastEnders star Maisie Smith, who had been criticised for appearing on the show after doing some ballet in the past.
She attended the Sandra Singer Stage school and studied musical theatre at college before going on to find fame as a soap star.
It also emerged that she had trained alongside Kevin himself.
Aged 18, she starred in Strictly’s Children in Need special with Kevin as her partner.
Loose Women Judi Love's strict workout regime unveiled ahead of Strictly debut
On the podcast, Kevin continued: "We talked about this a lot last year when Maisie was on the show, and people were having a go, but everybody loved say Danny Mac, who had training.
"So whether [Tom] is trained or not I don’t think it will make too much difference for him."
Speaking about her own dance experience, Maisie said at the time: "I'm not going to lie, I've got dancing experience.
"I've done a bit of hip-hop and street dance throughout my time but I have no technical ability at all.
"So yeah I feel like I was very lucky on that week. But who knows, I could be the dark horse."
It comes as Loose Women star Judi Love told how strict HIIT workouts are helping her get ready for her Strictly debut.
She told The Mirror : "I’m not doing exactly how the trainer is telling me to do it, but I’m doing it.
"There was a battle, but I thought even if I do half of it, which I manage … before I know it I’ve done the 15 minutes.
"Throughout the day I can always look back and think, ‘At least I’ve done 15 minutes this morning.’
"I try to do a lot of fasting as well."
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