Kelvin Fletcher has said being on Strictly is “a dream come true”, but that it is also “bittersweet” because it has come around as a result of Jamie Laing’s injury.
The Emmerdale actor, 35, is replacing Made In Chelsea star Laing after he hurt himself during filming for Saturday night’s pre-recorded launch show.
Posting a string of videos on Instagram on Sunday, Fletcher said while he was delighted to be taking part in the BBC competition, he felt for Laing.
“Jamie, if you’re watching this, I wish you all the best with your recovery and I’m sorry it’s in these circumstances,” he said.
Fletcher will make his Strictly debut in the first live show, and said he could not wait to get dancing.
He said in the video: “Hey guys, just thought I’d send a little message to say how just absolutely overwhelmed I am by the response I’ve been receiving so far for the fact that I am doing Strictly Come Dancing.
“I can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true.
“I’m an absolutely huge fan of the show.”
The actor went on: “Those who know me, admittedly it’s always after a few beers, but I love music and I love to dance.
“But that doesn’t mean I’ll be any good because once you put choreography in there and a few dance moves, who knows? We’ll see.
“I’m so excited to meet all the fellow professionals and the rest of the cast.”
He added: “Admittedly it’s bittersweet obviously, Jamie’s misfortune.
“I can’t help but feel for him.
“So when I got the call I, straight away, I thought of him and really felt for him.
“Jamie, if you’re watching this, I wish you all the best with your recovery and I’m sorry it’s in these circumstances.
“For me, I’m absolutely delighted. I can’t thank BBC and Strictly enough.
“I can’t wait to get dancing.”
The actor is currently in Rome with his wife and friends, but said he would be returning home on Monday to start rehearsals with his Strictly partner Oti Mabuse.
“I mean, she’s the best as well!” he said.
“I’m so happy. I can’t wait!”
The live episodes of Strictly Come Dancing will begin on September 21.