They’ve been in and out of the headlines recently because of rumours surrounding their personal lives, but two things are certain - Kevin and Karen Clifton are still dancing and will be heading for south Essex next month to thrill audiences with their new tour, Dance.

Following their debut tour last year, the married couple and professional dance partners are back with a brand new show coming to the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend.

Billed as a ‘hip-swinging journey with heart-pounding choreography’ the show will be filled with Cha Cha, Salsa, Tango and Paso Doble routines - in short expect sassy, sharp and sultry number packing a Latino vibe. The couple will be backed by a supporting cast of dancers, vocalists and a live 12-piece show band featuring music that has inspired the couple to dance over the years - such as Roxanne, Smooth Criminal, Respect, Jail House Rock and many more.

Kevin and Karen have been Strictly favourites since they joined the show more than four years ago. The couple married in July 2015 and despite recent reports they have split on a personal level, the pair insist their professional partnership is stronger than ever.

Can a couple truly stay in sync on the dance floor when they’ve split though? They say yes, and as others point out, former Strictly pair Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace who have gone through something similar, have certainly made it work for them.

We caught up with Kevin, 35, who hails from Grimsby in Lincolnshire, to find out what the show has in store for audiences - and more importantly - will they have time to tuck into some famous Southend fish and chips while they’re here?

We are sure Strictly fans across Southend will be thrilled to see you. Have your performed in Southend before? Also, will you have time to try some of our seaside fish and chips (which are sure to be better than those from Grimsby?..)

Kevin says: “We’ve danced in Southend before but unfortunately as dancers we don’t often get a chance to explore, so we are looking forward to going back and hopefully with a bit more spare time to look around. And yes we’ll definitely compare the fish and chips - they’ve got a lot to compete with!”

What’s the theme of this year’s tour? Do you work out a story and then create the routines?

“After last year’s successful sell out tour, we have put all the engines to full throttle to make sure this year’s tour is as big of a success, and even more important as entertaining and fun, as it was last year. New story-line, music, choreography, costumes and dancers that will make you want to get up off your seat and dance along with us.

Plus we have searched the globe and really invested in getting the best possible talent on stage. The standard and calibre of this cast could not be higher!”

What are you most looking forward to about this tour? Do you have a favourite dance that you perform during the show?

Our favourite dance is the Paso Doble, as much of our make-up as dancers is centred around drama and storytelling. The Paso is a dance in which the drama is so easily accessed and dialled up to the max. Its passionate, energetic and full of character. Our signature dance is performed to the incredibly powerful Moulin Rouge version of ‘Roxanne’.

You make professional dancing look easy, but obviously it’s not. Does it ever get tiring having to stay so fit and healthy and in tip-top physical shape?

We are both dedicated to the constant improvement and development with our choreography, energy and style, but this does take a lot of time. This year we feel we have made a big leap forward and are producing our best work yet. That’s really what the show is about; it’s about years of influence and inspiration continuously shaping us as we evolve. The title was almost going to be ‘35 years in the making’!

Is it hard work leading up to a tour?

We start generating ideas for the show months and months in advance, then make a blue print. Discussions quickly become about song choices, then conversations begin with directors and the bare bones are constructed. Before we know it, the show is upon us!

We rehearse for two weeks before the first show, solidly for eight hours a day, which does get a little tiring, but the end goal is always in our minds.

Kevin and Karen Dance Live will be on at the Cliffs Pavilion on Saturday June 2 with a matinee and an evening show.

Tickets cost £37.50-£47.50. Book via