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Janette Manrara reveals that Kelvin Fletcher was in talks to do Strictly before the line-up was announced

Kelvin took the place of Jamie Laing for the series

kelvin fletcher janette manrara
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
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Although the show finished in December, Strictly Come Dancing fever is still in the air as Janette Manrara and the 2019 champion Kelvin Fletcher are set to perform together for the official live tour. But it won't be the first time that the pair have danced together, as Janette explained that she and the producers had their eye on the Emmerdale actor before the show started and that she had danced with Kelvin in an audition.

WATCH: Strictly's Janette and Kelvin discuss the upcoming tour and plans for 2020

Speaking to HELLO! backstage at the tour rehearsals this month, Janette revealed that she had danced with Kelvin in the summer in an audition for the show. "We met once before, I think it was July or June last year, [the producers] asked me to come in and audition Kelvin," she explained.

The actor and racing enthusiast wasn't announced for the show until September, when he was brought into replace Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing due his foot injury. Although it's possible that Kelvin, who went on to win the series with Oti Mabuse, was on a reserve list for the show, it seems the producers and his tour partner were clearly impressed with his dancing skills. Janette continued: "I remember thinking when he left 'Oh I hope he does [the show] I really want to dance with him, he's going to be a good one!'" And what a good one he turned out to be!

MORE: Kelvin Fletcher shares his thoughts on dancing with Strictly's Janette Manrara

kelvin fletcher janette© Photo: Getty Images

Janette is dancing with Kelvin for the tour

And now, Janette and Kelvin get to dance as an official pair on the live tour. On finding out that she would be dancing with Kelvin, Janette told HELLO!: "I found out before [Kelvin] did, and I thought 'Oh I really want to tell him!'" she explained. "I sneakily told [him], I said 'Kelvin I don't know if anyone's told you but we're going to be dancing together!' and that's when I went 'oh I hope they win, they've got to win!'"

MORE: Strictly's Janette Manrara has the best birthday planned for husband Aljaz Skorjanec's 30th – details

And the Emmerdale actor is seemingly just as pleased to be dancing with Janette on the tour, telling HELLO!: "In my audition we danced together, so it's really good how it's come full circle." He continued: "I was really happy, because obviously I didn't know what to expect, I knew Oti couldn't do the tour, but I was delighted [to have Janette]."

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