Strictly Come Dancing has a new celebrity contestant - Emmerdale's Kelvin Fletcher will take Jamie Laing's spot in the top-rated dance show. Kelvin played Andy Sugden on the ITV soap opera from 1996-2016, and was incredibly excited as his new role in the hugely-popular weekend TV show was announced.
GALLERY: Official pictures of Strictly contestants released
"Is this really happening?!" he said in a statement released by Strictly on Sunday morning. "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! 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."
Kelvin (pictured with his partner) will be the new Strictly celeb
Kelvin will be partnered with Oti Mabuse, which will please fans who were devastated to think that she would be left without a partner after Jamie's sad exit. As HELLO! reported previously, Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing was forced to quit the show after sustaining a foot injury. In a statement released on Twitter on Thursday, the BBC said: "Sadly, due to an injury, Jamie Laing will no longer be able to take part in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. As the Strictly launch show is pre-recorded, Jamie will still feature in this programme which airs Saturday September 7."
Kelvin will partner Strictly favourite Oti Mabuse
Expressing his sadness, TV star Jamie added: "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."
The following day he took to his Instagram page to thank his fans for their support. "Thank you to everyone and good luck to all of my buddies who are dancing this year - I'm devastated I won’t be with you but I know you'll ROCK IT for all of us @bbcstrictly," he wrote alongside a video. Despite not performing, Jamie will continue to support the stars of this year's show. "2019 is going to be incredible, they are a great bunch of people. I wish I could be dancing but I can't. They will rock the dance floor. So all of you, who are dancing this year - the people who I love - go and smash it, make us all proud. Good luck to everyone."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.