08/09/2019 08:44 BST

Strictly Come Dancing Confirms Kelvin Fletcher As Jamie Laing's Replacement

The former Emmerdale actor will be paired with pro dancer Oti Mabuse.

Former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher has been confirmed as Jamie Laing’s replacement on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing

The Andy Sugden actor will couple up with Oti Mabuse on the BBC ballroom series, after the Made In Chelsea star was forced to withdraw from the competition due to injury

Ian West - PA Images via Getty Images
Kelvin Fletcher is joining Strictly Come Dancing

In a statement, 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.

“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,” he added. 

Jamie confirmed he was leaving the show on Thursday after injuring his foot, during filming of the pre-recorded launch show the previous week.

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Jamie Laing was forced to withdraw from Strictly

He said at the time: “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.”

Viewers of Saturday night’s launch show saw him paired up with Oti Mabuse before he took to the floor as part of the group dance, which is where he sustained his injury. 

His exit was then addressed with a hastily-filmed VT, which was inserted into the pre-recorded show and saw Jamie explaining what had happened. 

Jamie injured his foot during the first group dance of the series

The launch episode also saw the 14 other celebrities discover which professional dancer they’d been partnered with, while there was also a special performance from Kylie Minogue and the pro dancers. 

New judge Motsi Mabuse also made her debut on the panel after she was confirmed to replace Darcey Bussell earlier this year. 

Kelvin will join the other celebrities when the first live show airs on Saturday 21 September on BBC One. 

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing 2019 Launch See Gallery