Strictly’s Oti and Kelvin ‘hard at it around the clock’ to avoid the boot

Kelvin Fletcher says dance partner Oti Mabuse is working him around the clock behind the scenes at Strictly Come Dancing.

The pair have been hard at it six days a week for the past two months in a bid to win the BBC dance show.

Lifting the lid on his tough schedule, Kelvin, 35, said: “It’s really hard. I struggle quite a bit. Through the week it’s a lot of hard work and long hours.

“On a Monday or Tuesday the routine is unrecognisable compared to where I’m at on Saturday.

“I guess that’s down to a lot of hours and Oti believing in me and being very patient.

“She has to be very, very ­patient because I don’t learn steps very quickly. We’ve got a great friendship.”

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Kelvin’s gruelling schedule has helped make him a dance floor sensation.

It’s also done wonders for his physique – which has impressed Oti, 29.

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He said: “I have seen a difference in my body. I’ve gone down a little bit.

“Oti tells me I’m getting more of a dancer’s body and that’s good.

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“I’m less muscular and I’ve got a better frame. It feels like I’m looking down my nose at everybody but apparently that’s what a dancer’s frame should be. So I think I’m ­improving in that sense.”

Kelvin has had high scores since the start of the series. But he admits he’s secretly ­struggled with his confidence.

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The ex-Emmerdale star said: “People think because I’m an actor I must be confident and I guess I am when I’m acting.

“But I’m being exposed on Strictly. I’m not a dancer, so my confidence can be low.

“It was low at the start of the series and it still can be now at the start of each week.

“It’s the job of the ­professional dancer to give you that belief. And my confidence has been growing each week.”

Kelvin fears he will be the next contestant to get the boot.

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He added: “It’s surreal ­because as we’ve seen already people have been going home that you wouldn’t expect to go. The level of jeopardy is huge.

“You don’t know if it’ll be your time, so it’s extremely nerve-racking.

“That sense of relief when you’re saved, you kind of just want to scream out.

“But at the same time you’re so conscious of the people next to you who haven’t had their name called out yet. It’s bittersweet.”

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