Former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher 'struggles to believe' he has swapped his showbiz lifestyle for life as a farmer despite knowing nothing about rural life.
The 37-year-old who won Strictly Come Dancing in 2019 now owns a farm in the Peak District and revealed he made the drastic life change "ahead" of former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Kelvin has documented his new life in a BBC six part series, Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure just like Jeremy, 61, has done on his Amazon Prime show, Clarkson's Farm.
The soap star said: "For better or worse, we were ahead of Clarkson.
"If you’d have told me the night I lifted that Glitterball that 18 months later I’d happily be shovelling pig poo, I would have struggled to believe you."
Kelvin who has moved with wife Liz and his two young children, Marnie, five, and Milo, three, admitted he had "never been close" to a sheep before swapping his urban life for a 120-acre farm, owning 20 sheep, three pigs and three alpacas.
The actor told Radio Times: “I always enjoyed the scenes out in nature, but that was in a controlled environment.
"The minute somebody said, ‘Cut,’ there’s a farmer to pick that sheep up. I didn’t even know what TB was, I was just saying my lines.
"Now I understand that if you have TB in your cattle, it’s devastating.”
Kelvin found fame playing Andy Sugden on the ITV soap for more than 20 years and later became Strictly champ alongside professional partner Oti Mabuse after being a last-minute replacement for reality star Jamie Laing who got injured.
The family made the risky move to the 18th-century farm cottage in early 2021.
He continued: "Often life is a case of always being on to the next thing, and I guess lockdown was a real pause when you couldn’t help but be present and reflect.
"As actors, you’ve got to embrace the unknown.
"But I think the unique thing about this project and why we both decided to do this was that this is the only time that we’re really in charge of our own destiny."
Kelvin is still working on TV projects – including upcoming Channel 5 drama Teacher, where he will star alongside Sheridan Smith.
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