Strictly Come Dancing champion Kelvin Fletcher has said he is looking forward to spending time with his family at Christmas after making “sacrifices” to focus on training.
The ex-Emmerdale star, who won the 2019 series with professional partner Oti Mabuse on Saturday, missed his son’s first birthday and his wedding anniversary in a bid to lift the Glitterball trophy.
The 35-year-old, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, married his long-time girlfriend, Liz Marsland, in November 2015, and they have a daughter, born in 2016, and a son, born in 2018.
Speaking alongside Mabuse on This Morning, he said: “For any working parent out there, there are sacrifices you have to make, whatever job you’re doing…
“It’s very much Christmas time now. Get home and indulge with the family and spend some quality time together.”
He said that despite 12-hour days in the studio, he had still kept up his gym sessions.
He said: “My day was a 5am start in the gym but in the last few weeks it was just too much.
“I just had to concentrate solely on the dancing.
“I think I started every Monday with ‘There’s no way I can do that, Oti.’
“I was very, very slow, just to learn the choreographed steps.
“I didn’t take to that very well and it really took me quite a few days to get the steps in.”
Professional dancer Mabuse, 29, said it had felt “incredible” to win the contest for the first time.
She said: “Whatever happens, you gave me the best season of my entire career on Strictly.
“So we didn’t really expect it. I think it’s an honour to actually know that people have got your back.
“It is incredible. I remember standing next to (fellow professional) Aljaz (Skorjanec) and saying ‘Aljaz, I’m one of you now. I can say I’ve got a trophy of my own now.’
“To know I did it with someone who wanted to do it just as much as I did and we enjoyed every single training moment. That was amazing.”