Magician Ben Hanlin to replace Kelvin Fletcher on Dancing on Ice

Kelvin Fletcher has been forced to pull out of Dancing on Ice after he was called up to replace Jamie Laing on this year's Strictly Come Dancing.

The Emmerdale star was reportedly approached by ITV bosses to appear on Dancing on Ice – which returns in January – after impressing bosses with videos of him skating.

But, with Jamie Laing forced to pull out of Strictly Come Dancing due to an injury, Kelvin was announced as his replacement and will dance with Oti Mabuse as the show gets underway tonight.

Kelvin Fletcher Strictly Come Dancing

According to The Sun, that left Dancing on Ice bosses with a gap to fill and Ben Hanlin – magician and host of Tricked – has stepped in.

An insider told them: “Ben is absolutely thrilled because this is his biggest break in TV and marks a huge showbiz comeback for him.

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“He fronted three series of ITV2’s Tricked but he hasn’t been on telly for a while now. To say he’s excited is an understatement. He can’t wait to bring some magic to the show.”

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield are set to front the show once more and other names rumoured to be joining the line-up include Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Love Island’s Maura Higgins.

Kelvin – who played Emmerdale’s Andy Sugden for 20 years – said it’s a “dream come true” to be doing Strictly.

The 35-year-old said: “Hey guys, just thought I’d say how just absolutely I’m overwhelmed by the response I’ve been receiving so far. I can’t believe it, it’s a dream come true.

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“Those who know me, after a few beers, I love music and I love to dance, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be any good!

But he didn’t ignore the fact his spot on the show was due to bittersweet circumstances.
Reaching out to Made in Chelsea star Jamie, he added: “I can’t help but feel for him. Jamie, if you’re watching this, I wish you all the best with your recovery. I’m sorry it’s in these circumstances.”
Strictly returns tonight at 7pm on BBC One.