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The sacrifice Strictly star Kelvin Fletcher had to make to appear on the show

The former Emmerdale actor wowed with his Samba dancing with Oti Mabuse on Saturday night's Strictly

Hanna Fillingham

There is no doubt that Strictly Come Dancing bosses are thrilled to have Kelvin Fletcher in the show, with the former Emmerdale actor wowing with his Salsa moves on Saturday night. But to take part in the BBC One dance competition, Kelvin had to make a sacrifice in his career, as the 35-year-old was due to play the lead role in Aladdin at St Helens Theatre Royal in Merseyside in December. Now that he is in Strictly, the Pantomime have had to replace him. Luckily, things have worked out well as ex-Strictly pro dancer Robin Windsor has been hired to star in the show instead. Robin was a popular pro on the show, having been partnered with stars including Lisa Riley and Patsy Kensit.

Strictly star Kelvin Fletcher had to sacrifice his Panto job to be on the show

Kelvin joined Strictly at the last minute to fill in for Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing, who was forced to pull out of the competition after suffering an injury in training. Kelvin and his dance partner Oti Mabuse received the highest score of the night on Saturday, with all four judges rewarding them a score of eight. Oti was particularly happy when she found out that Kelvin would be filling in for Jamie as she was worried that she wouldn't be able to take part in the competition without a partner. In fact, the 29-year-old was so happy that she cried. Talking to the Radio Times ahead of Saturday's show, Oti admitted: "When they told me about Kelvin, I cried – and it turns out he’s incredible."

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Kelvin and Oti Mabuse wowed with their Salsa on Saturday's Strictly 

In the interview, Oti opened up about Jamie's injury, and her fear that she was going to be left without a partner. She continued: "I was devastated when Jamie hurt himself and I had a long, tearful conversation with him. For a while I thought I had no partner and I was in bed all day thinking, 'I can't do the show!' In moments like that you realise how much you love something. I was feeling really bad, but one of the producers said, 'We’ll see what we can do.'"

READ: Emmerdale star Charley Webb's son wows with incredible singing voice

Kelvin and Oti are top-runners in the competition now, and have a lot of support from fans as well as Kelvin's former Emmerdale co-stars. Charley Webb, who plays Kelvin's on-screen ex-wife Debbie Dingle in the show, was one of the first to congratulate them after their Samba dance, writing on Instagram: "Just the best, emotional." Strictly host Tess Daly also made her opinion known, writing: "They were screaming for you in that studio!"

Kelvin revealed last week that he wasn't even on the replacement list of celebrities, admitting that it was a huge shock to be asked to step in for Jamie. The star thought at any moment it would be revealed that he was being pranked by Ant and Dec. Speaking to Mark Wright on his Heart FM show, which aired on Saturday, Kelvin said of being asked to join Strictly: "I wasn’t expecting it at all. I wasn’t on a replacement list, I wasn't on any list so I was completely, completely out of the blue. Even when we started on the Thursday I got rushed down there, met the producers, had a medical, and I kept saying to them 'I feel like Ant and Dec are gonna jump out with a film crew'."

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