Kelvin Fletcher shot to stardom for his role as Andy Sugden in the long-running soap
Kelvin Fletcher rose to fame after portraying Andy Sugden in Emmerdale.
When he was cast as the troubled character in 1996, the soap actor was only 12 years old.
He was hired for a three-episode arc at first, but after proving to be a fan favorite, he was given a regular role.
Throughout Andy Sugden’s turbulent time in the Yorkshire village, Emmerdale viewers followed Kelvin’s journey to adulthood.
Andy was involved in a number of dramatic storylines, including setting fire to his adoptive parents’ barn and his rollercoaster romance with Debbie Dingle.
In 2016, the actor left the show after 20 years to pursue a full-time career as a race car driver.
He told the Mirror: “I was a motorsport fan growing up. Cars, bikes, F1.
“I decided to give it a shot at the ripe old age of 28.” My father and I purchased a classic Mini and competed in club racing. In the end, I was victorious in the championship.
“I’ve signed professional contracts,” says the narrator. It has undoubtedly snowballed, and it is a dream come true. I was fortunate in that sponsors were willing to support me due to my profile.”
Kelvin acknowledged that the drastic change has posed difficulties.
He said: “I’m going against people who have raced since they were seven years old.
“I have a target on my back. Because I’m the guy from TV, everyone’s attention is drawn to me a little more. I sometimes feel like I’m working harder than most people, but I’m making progress.”
He did, however, say that he feels more at ease in the dangerous world of motorsport than he did on Emmerdale.
He added: “The dangers don’t really cross my mind. They probably should but, weirdly, when you’re at a race weekend, the safety aspect there is key.
“Motorsport is dangerous, but you’re in a controlled environment with everyone going in the same direction, no lamp posts or kerbs, competent drivers, and more seatbelts than anything else.”
“I feel safer racing around a circuit than I did driving on the M62 to Emmerdale on a daily basis.”
Kelvin did not completely abandon show business, as he won Strictly Come Dancing in 2019.
Throughout his time on the show, the soap star was praised by the judges for his impressive physique.
Kelvin revealed his fitness routine in 2017 when he revealed he was working with a personal trainer.
Kelvin has been happily married to Elizabeth Marsland since 2015, away from the screen.
Elizabeth is also an actress, best known for her role in the television series In the Club.
The couple already has a daughter, Marnie, and a son, Milo, and they just found out they’re expecting twins.
“We just recently found out, to add another curveball if you like,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“We don’t do things half-heartedly, and then we found out we’re having not one, but two babies.”
The soap star and his family are currently starring in BBC’s Kelvin’s Big Farming Adventure, which he describes as his career’s biggest challenge.
He said: “This is without doubt the biggest challenge I’ve ever taken on. I’m really excited to share the unforgettable first steps into our new life of farming and adventures.”
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