Who is Jamie Laing's Strictly replacement Kelvin Fletcher?
Former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher has been revealed as Jamie Laing‘s replacement on Strictly Come Dancing.
The actor is stepping in where the Made In Chelsea star left off, after a foot injury which he suffered during the filming of the launch show forced him to drop out of the series.
Kelvin said of his unexpected arrival on the show: ‘Is this really happening?! It’s been the most surreal week of my life!
‘I’m a massive fan of Strictly so it’s incredible. I’m so happy that I can be a part of it. But at the same time it’s quite bittersweet!
Here’s what you need to know about Kelvin.
Who is Kelvin Fletcher and how is he best known?
Kelvin, who is 35, is from Oldham in Greater Manchester.
He began acting lessons at the age of six and made his screen debut in the 1994 CITV drama Three Seven Eleven.
A string of small roles followed in the likes of Heartbeat, Cracker and Coronation Street, but his big break came in 1996 when he was asked to audition for Emmerdale as Andy Hopwood.
The character – renamed Andy Sugden after he was adopted by the Sugden family – was originally only meant to be in the soap for three episodes but went on to become one of the show’s most popular characters, with Fletcher playing the role for 20 years.
Andy Sugden was the brother of Victoria (Isabel Hodgins) and also brother to the Sugdens’ other adopted son Robert (Ryan Hawley), and was involved in some major storylines including setting fire to the Sugden’s barn after the farm ran into financial troubles – leading to the death of his adopted mother Sarah.
That scene won the spectacular scene of the year award at the British Soap Awards in 2001, while Kelvin also previously won British Soap Awards for best actor and dramatic performance.
His character left the village in 2016 after escaping from custody after being framed for attempted murder.
Kelvin left the soap to focus on his other career as a rally driver, having taken part in a number of races since then.
He married long-term girlfriend Liz Marland in 2015, and the couple have two children, daughter Marnie and son Milo.
Why has Kelvin replaced Jamie Laing on Strictly?
Jamie explained at the end of the Strictly launch show that he has been ordered to rest his foot for eight weeks following his injury, which leaves him unable to be a part of the main series.
‘Hello everyone, I just wanted to give everyone a quick update on my foot,’ he explained. ‘Now because of the injury it means I’m going to be in a boot for eight weeks recovering which means I won’t be a part of the show.
‘I want to wish all my fellow competitors the best of luck. You guys are going to rock it without a doubt and I’ll be supporting from the sidelines with or without the boot.’
‘Just go out there and dance.’
Kelvin said: ‘I’m coming in on the back of Jamie’s injury – I keep thinking about him! I can’t imagine going through all this excitement and then having to pull out. My thoughts are with him – he seems like a fantastic guy and I hope he’s doing OK.’
Who will Kelvin’s pro partner on the show be?
Kelvin will be paired on the show with Oti Mabuse, who was originally meant to be partnering Jamie.
They’re one of 15 celebrity couples taking part this year, with the pairings revealed during Saturday night’s launch show.
Strictly Come Dancing 2019’s first live show is on BBC One on Saturday 21 September.
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