Strictly fans sob as Karen Clifton runs on stage to congratulate her ex Kevin as he and Stacey Dooley win

Karen, 36, was eliminated earlier in the competition when she and her celebrity partner, Casualty actor Charles Venn, 45, were voted out in 10th place.

But she re-joined the programme this evening when all the finalists from this year’s series returned to perform.

Kevin, 36, burst into tears as he and television presenter Stacey Dooley, 31, were crowned the champions.

And viewers were very impressed that Karen ran over to praise Kevin, with on tweeting: “Seeing @keviclifton finally win #strictly with @StaceyDooley brought a tear to my eye. They both fully deserve the glitterball. Kevin puts his heart and soul into his dancing and is the best teacher. I’m so pleased that @karen_hauer congratulated him at the end. #teamclifton.

Another wrote: “That was very sweet when Karen ran on to congratulate Kevin. Melted my cold black heart #Strictly #scd.”

One other viewer posted: “How lovely that @karen_hauer was first to congratulate @KevinClifton_ on his win – so sweet #Strictly.”

And someone else remarked: “Oh my days…@karen_hauer first in to congratulate @keviclifton made me cry…totally deserved to win with @StaceyDooley, loved @Joe_Sugg as well, wanted them both to win #strictly #scdfinal.”

Stacey won Strictly with partner Kevin Clifton after a gripping final.

The documentary maker triumphed over Joe Sugg, Ashley Roberts and Faye Tozer to lift the glitterball trophy tonight.

Stacey, 31, looked suitably shocked as host Tess Daly called her name after she had performed three dances with her professional partner Kevin.

It is the first time that Kevin, 36, has won Strictly after being in the final on four previous occasions.

Speaking to Kevin, who broke down in tears, Stacey said to her partner: "I should say something quite poignant, shouldn't I? You know how highly I think of you. I think you are the biggest gem.

"It's no surprise you have been in the final as many times as you have. It's daunting doing something you haven't done before. But he's so patient and he walks you through. You so deserve this. You so deserve this."

The professional dancer replied: "Thank you so much, not just for being so amazing and for dancing so well, but for being the most wonderful person to work with, to spend every day training with.

"You've worked so hard. You are so lovely and I think the absolute world of you."

The couple had performed their favourite routine from the series, as well as the Foxtrot for their judges’ choice to Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck from week four.

They also took to the floor with an incredible show dance to Land of A Thousand Dances by Wilson Pickett.

Going into the final, Stacey had the best odds with the bookies, with YouTube star Joe, 27, close behind.

The final also saw all the celebrities from the series return and perform again, including Seann Walsh and Katya Jones, who caused uproar earlier in the season by sharing a drunken snog outside a London pub.

However Katie Piper was forced to dance with Neil Jones because her original partner – Gorka Marquez – is injured.

Ashley Roberts kicked off the show with her judges’ choice –  the salsa to Time Of My Life.

The Pussycat Doll and her partner Pasha Kovalev were awarded a perfect ten for their efforts after they nailed the famous lift.

Stacey and Kevin  were given the foxtrot from the judges, and scored an impressive 39 with just Craig not giving them full marks.

Next up was Faye Tozer and Giovanni Pernice were given the Viennese Waltz by the judges for their first dance of the evening.

The pair were the second of the evening to get a full house after being awarded 10s by the judges.

Joe Sugg and Dianne Buswell were given the Paso Doble from the judges, and won their highest score of the series – a 39.

Joe delighted fans by dying his hair red for the final after vowing to do it if he made it.

Those watching at home weren't impressed with the judges' choices and branded it a 'fix' as they believed Ashley was given something they loved already.

It was back to Ashley and Pasha again who performed an impressive routine to Keeping Your Head Up by Birdy – again getting their second 40.

Stacey and Kevin chose to dance Land of A Thousand Dances by Wilson Pickett. Fans were shocked as they got just an eight from Craig Revel Horwood and a final score of 36.

Faye and Giovanni danced to Lullaby of Broadway by Harry Warren and Al Dubin and got a 40 from the judges.

Joe  and Dianne performed their show dance to I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys –  they were awarded 39 points.

Ashley then opened the third round of dances, in which the finalists chose their favourite dance of the series to repeat.

She chose the Charleston which she danced to Witch Doctor by Don Lang. Dressed as portly trolls and inspired by The Troll Movie, the pair's routine earned them a standing ovation.

Stacey's final dance saw her take on the paso doble to Malaguena by Brian Setzer eliciting the loudest cheer of the night.

Dancing in suits and glittering oversized bow ties, Faye chose to revisit her couple's choice routine to Fever by Peggy Lee in the style of theatre and jazz.

Joe chose to revisit his charleston to Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex, with a routine inspired by his training as an apprentice roof thatcher.

Fans loved it and gushed about their amazing chemistry after being linked throughout the series.

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