Strictly Kai Widdringtons life – famous family, Simon Cowell link, job change

Kai Widdrington has been raking in points from the judges week after week on Strictly Come Dancing, but he didn't always plan on being a dancer.

In fact, the 26-year-old had his heart set on the sporting world before setting foot in the BBC One ballroom.

The Southampton-born dancer has been cruising through the competition with his TV presenter partner AJ Odudu – topping the leaderboards on multiple occasions.

Just last week, Kai and AJ bagged a whopping 38 points from the judges for their Waltz routine to Edelweiss from The Sound of Music.

It's no secret either that fans think the two have had a secret romance brewing behind the scenes, and rumours of the so-called 'Strictly Curse' have been flying around social media in recent weeks.

Kai has had an interesting life both in and out of the TV ballroom, so Daily Star have decided to take a closer look at the high-scoring dancer, who could end up lifting the Glitterball trophy this year.

Famous family

Strictly fans would be forgiven for not realising that Kai isn't the only famous face in his family.

It turns out that Kai's dad Tommy is a famous English Football League player and manager.

The 50-year-old's football career includes playing for Grimsby town, and was at Mariners from 1996 before joining Port Vale in 1999 and then being signed professionally with Valiants.

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Tommy also had spells at Hartlepool United, and Macclesfield Town before ending his career in the Football League back at Port Vale.

Something of a veteran on the football field, Kai's dad made over 372 appearances over 15 years.

He then spent 2005 to 2010 at non-league club Salisbury City before moving on to management roles.

Surprising career change

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Before becoming a professional dancer on Strictly, Kai was set for a different career path altogether.

With a famous footballing father, it seemed that Kai was set to follow in his footsteps on the pitch at a professional level.

That was. however, until he began dancing.

Kai even turned down a Premier League contract at the age of 12 to pursue his dance career, and he went on to become Junior World Latin American champion.

However, Kai's brother Theo has been flying the footy flag in the family as he carried on playing the sport – having played professionally for Havant and Waterlooville F.C.

Strictly curse rumours

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Kai and AJ have won plenty of points during their Strictly stint this year, but they've also sparked plenty of romance rumours among excited fans.

Their steamy dances have left many BBC viewers convinced that they could fall victim to the infamous 'Strictly Curse' which has plagued past contestants like Sean Walsh and Katya Jones.

During their steamy American Smooth routine, it looked like the couple were about to kiss, and Kai even whispered "I love you" to his celeb partner.

One source told The Sun that the cast and crew have placed bets on the pair hooking up and becoming a couple.

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The source claimed: "Everyone backstage is talking about the sparks flying between AJ and Kai. It’s very passionate and intense whenever they’re together.

"They’re both single and have really hit it off and everyone on the show is saying it’s only a matter of time.

"They’re always laughing and flirting — romance is 100 per cent on the cards. Kai is totally AJ’s type. He’s got loads of banter and he’s been blown away by her, too."

AJ has firmly denied there is anything going on between her and Kai, though, and she told Radio 2's Zoe Ball that she was simply playing a character during that dance, who was meant to be in love.

TV fame

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Strictly certainly isn't the first television show that Kai has been a part of, because he's appeared on Britain's Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars.

In fact, Kai reached the live finals on the sixth series of Simon Cowell's hit ITV talent show in 2012 – alongside his dance partner, Natalia Jeved.

They ended up coming 11th place overall on the show, but Widdrington returned to the show for the eight series with the ballroom group, Kings and Queens.

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Here, he ended up working with his future Strictly co-stars Katya Jones and Neil Jones, and his future Dancing with the Stars colleagues Ksenia Zsikhotska and Ryan McShane.

They reached the semi-finals, but didn't make it through to the grand final.

Kai also starred on Dancing with the Stars for a number of years, and last year he made it to the final with Miss Universe Ireland 2018 winner Gráinne Gallanagh- but again he missed out on the top prize.

Whether or not he finally gets a win with AJ on Strictly remains unseen, but he's certainly a top contender.

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