Home NEWS When did Strictly Come Dancing winner Kelvin Fletcher leave Emmerdale and how...

When did Strictly Come Dancing winner Kelvin Fletcher leave Emmerdale and how did his character Andy Sugden leave?

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Kelvin Fletcher has joined Strictly Come Dancing hall of fame after he and pro partner Oti Mabuse were crowned winners of the 2019 final.

The former Emmerdale star – who was a late arrival to the series, replacing Jamie Laing after he withdrew due to injury – nabbed the coveted Glitterball Trophy on Saturday night, leaving viewers in tears as he and Oti were crowned.

Kelvin, of course, was previously known to millions of Emmerdale fans as Andy Sugden, one of the soap’s most beloved characters.

But how long was in the show for – and how did his character leave?

Here’s what you need to know…

When did Kelvin Fletcher leave Emmerdale?

Kelvin was last seen in the Dales in 2016.

He joined the show in 1996 after being asked to audition for the character Andy Hopwood – who later changed his surname after he was adopted by the Sugden family.

Although the character was only supposed to be in the show for three episodes he went on to play the role for 20 years, becoming one of the most popular characters in Emmerdale.

Andy was the brother of Victoria (Isabel Hodgins) and also brother to the Sugdens’ other adopted son Robert (Ryan Hawley).

During his time on the show he was involved in some pretty major storylines, including setting fire to the Sugden’s barn after the farm ran into financial troubles – leading to the death of his adopted mother Sarah.

That scene won a British Soap Award in 2001 for spectacular scene of the year, while Kelvin also previously won British Soap Awards for best actor and dramatic performance.

How did Andy Sugden leave Emmerdale?

Andy left the village in 2016 after escaping from custody after being framed for attempted murder by Chrissie White (Louise Marwood), Robert’s fiance – and mother of serial killer Lachlan White (Thomas Atkinson).

Chrissie hid a gun which Lachlan used to shoot her father Lawrence (John Bowe) in Andy’s car – and to make matters more complicated she tried to blackmail Andy’s barrister into persuading him to plead guilty.

However Andy entered a not guilty plea to the crime, and managed to escape from prison, going on the run with a false passport.

His stepsister Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles) whom he had been romantically involved with, almost went with him also – but changed her mind at the last minute, leaving the pair to have an emotional farewell before he left.

Why did Kelvin Fletcher leave Emmerdale?

Kelvin left the soap to focus on his other career as a racing driver, having taken part in a number of races since he left.

While the door has been left open for him to return to Emmerdale – with Andy often being tipped to make a comeback – he’s all but ruled it out.

It started winning awards since I left, maybe it’s a good thing I don’t go back,’ he told Lorraine Kelly earlier this year.

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‘Since I’ve been gone, it’s gone from strength to strength. ‘I’ve very much moved on and I want to pursue other things.’



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MORE: Strictly’s Kelvin Fletcher admits struggle with family commitments due to hectic finale schedule

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