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Strictly Come Dancing CONFIRM Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher will replace injured Jamie Laing

Kelvin Fletcher
(Image credit: PA Images)

The Made In Chelsea star was forced to pull out after injuring his foot

Strictly Come Dancing has confirmed former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher will replace Jamie Laing after he was forced to pull out of the competition.

The actor, who played Andy Sugden on the ITV soap from 1996 to 2016, will be partnered with Oti Mabuse – who was paired up with Jamie during Saturday’s launch show – and will be seen on the first live show on Saturday 21st September.

Speaking after his announcement, Kelvin said: “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.

Kelvin Fletcher

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - No Use Before Tuesday 7 June 2016 Emmerdale - Ep 7527 Monday 13 June 2016 Bernice White [SAMANTHA GILES] tells Andy Sugden [KELVIN FLETCHER] about Lawrence being gay and how he had a relationship with Ronnie. She leans in for a kiss but will Andy return it? Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214 This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

“I’m so happy that I can be a part of it. But at the same time it’s quite bittersweet! 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.”

Jamie was forced to quit the BBC show after a foot injury left him unable to walk.

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Sharing the news, he said: “I’m absolutely devastated that I’m unable to continue in the competition, I was so excited to hit the dance floor!

“I would like to wish the lovely couples all the very best and hope they enjoy their time on the show to the fullest.”

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Kelvin left Emmerdale in 2016 after 20 years. Explaining the decision behind his departure, he revealed at the time: “My time came now. It’s a decision I have pondered on for about 18 months.

“About 12 months ago I made the decision to leave, with no discredit to the show – if anything it was because of their creativity which has given me a sense of confidence and believe I could go on and do something else.”

We can’t wait to see him on the dancefloor!

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo!  Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.