Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has said he is "deeply sorry" for a remark he is reported to have made about former winners Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton, describing his comment as "a huge error of judgement".

Revel Horwood is reported to have made the remark about Dooley and Clifton - now a couple off-screen - during the recording of the Strictly launch show. Documentary maker Dooley and her family were in the audience at the time.

British tabloid The Sun reports that when asked what advice he would give the new contestants on the show, Revel Horwood said they should be inspired by the progress Dooley made while on her way to the glitterball trophy with professional dance partner Clifton last year. 

Kevin Clifton and Stacey Dooley won Strictly in 2018

He is reported to have then added that contestants should consider sleeping with their dance partners if they want to win the competition.

The Sun says filming was immediately stopped after the reported comment with Dooley's mother leaving the studio "in tears".

In a statement published in The Sun, Revel Horwood said: "I'm deeply sorry for the offence caused to Kevin and Stacey and everyone who works on the show.

"I recognise that what I said was hurtful, cruel and incredibly disrespectful. It was a huge error of judgment that I very much regret."

The Strictly judges at the launch show in London on Monday, August 26 - (L-R) Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One on Saturday, September 7 at 7:10pm.

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