Strictly Come Dancing Ore Oduba exclusive: 'Victory is all down to amazing Joanne Clifton'

The BBC presenter gets emotional talking about his professional dancer partner.

Press Association
Last updated: 19 December 2016 - 3.51pm

Strictly Come Dancing 2016 winner Ore Oduba paid tribute to his professional partner Joanne Clifton in an emotional speech after his victory on Saturday night.

Speaking exclusively to, Oduba used the words "incredible", "amazing" and "friend for life" to describe his teacher.

"That showdance tonight was Jo Clifton personified," said Ore.

"She is the most creative incredible choreographer and most amazing person I know. When she showed me that the first day I said, 'oh my gosh you want me to do this?'. The honour, the absolute honour to do that, that was what I signed up for Strictly to do."

Speaking about Joanne's parents, brother Kevin and his wife Karen, who are both also professional dancers, Ore said that he was honoured to be welcomed into their family.

"The Clifton family are the most inspirational loving collection of people that we have the fortune of seeing every day. Being a part of  that and to be welcomed to their family every single one of them they are just, they are incredible," he said.

"Every one of them, your mum your dad, your sister-in-law, it's been amazing to be part of your family."

Learn how to dance the jive like Ore with Joanne Clifton's top tips:


The sports television presenter, who had no previous dance training, beat former Hollyoaks star Danny Mac and ex-Eternal singer Louise Redknapp to win the coveted glitterball trophy in the nail-biting finale of the BBC show.

However, Ore insisted that his rivals previous dance training wasn't the reason he won the final.

"Everybody who has danced in this show has put in the same amount of effort, the same amount of heart, the same amount of drive, we've all loved this," he said.

"We started as a family on this, we said just before we went out everybody was so proud of anyone who won. I've never danced before and it's all down to Jo. Everything I've learnt on this show has been down to Jo. She's the most incredible teacher the most amazing partner and one of my best friends for life."

Ore also said he is looking forward to spending time with his family after “neglecting” them to train for the show.

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton

Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)


Talking moments after his win, Ore said: “It doesn’t make any sense to us right now, I cannot believe it, we did not even consider this (winning), not even for a single week of this.”

Asked what he will be doing next, he replied: “What’s next? Christmas, I cannot wait for Christmas, I’ve neglected my family, same for Jo, we’ve been so hard working…”

He revealed he will be going on a two-week getaway with his wife Portia, while Joanne will be back in the dance studio on Monday to start rehearsals for a musical.

The BBC presenter praised his wife for being his “anchor” and said having his parents, who were visiting from Nigeria, in the audience made his victory even more special.

He said: “She’s supported us so much (Portia) and just been my absolute anchor, and my mum and dad just being here, they’ve sacrificed so much, both of our parents have sacrificed so much for us in our lives, so for them to be here and see this, the most unexpected moment of my life, is just incredible.”

The finale also saw Joanne compete against her older brother Kevin, who partnered Louise.

It was the fourth final for Kevin, who has yet to secure a win. Moments after Joanne’s name was called out, Kevin was one of the first people at her side to scoop her up in a congratulatory hug.

Strictly Come Dancing 2016
Strictly Come Dancing champions (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)


“I mean, he’s my older brother and I just said sorry to him because he’s made four finals and he’s never won it yet,” a tearful Joanne said about sharing the moment with Kevin.

“And to get that reaction from him. I was away from my family for 14 years living in Italy and I didn’t see him that much and since I’ve come back, he’s been a big brother to me again.”

Ore said he will not be giving up sports presenting, but said he will dance for the “rest of his life”.

He said: “I’m not giving up anything. In fact, it’s just been the best thing to acquire the ability to dance.

“Like I said, it’s just going to be a thread through my life for the rest of my life, I can’t think of a time when I will not be dancing now. It’s just, it is in me now, I can’t not dance.”

[Read more: All you need to know about Ore Oduba]

[Read more: Strictly Come Dancing tour 2017 - How to get tickets]