Kelvin Fletcher says TV industry can be 'snobby' about soap actors

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Kelvin Fletcher and Liz Marsland took up farming in the Peak District with no experience but are learning on the job in the BBC show 'Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure'
Kelvin Fletcher and Liz Marsland took up farming in the Peak District with no experience but are learning on the job in the BBC show 'Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure'

Emmerdale's Kelvin Fletcher says the TV industry can be 'a little bit snobby' towards soap actors trying to do something different, even though the work is hard and attracts huge talent.

Fletcher rose to fame as a child star playing Andy Sugden in the farming soap from 1996-2016, but says he felt that a 'selective industry' often puts soap actors to the back of the line when they try to do something new.

Appearing with his wife, actor Liz Marsland, on Kate Thornton's White Wine Question Time podcast, Fletcher said: "It's very hard as an actor to come away from a soap unfortunately, I don't know why.

"It's wrong, you [have] ridiculous, talented actors in soap who work harder than... I've just finished a drama and I worked far harder on a soap than I did on a drama, it's just the nature of the work.

WATCH: Kelvin Fletcher and Liz Marsland on their journey to becoming farmers, and what they admire most about each other

"You're just kind of stigmatised and seen as a soap actor. You're like: 'No, I'm an actor, I just so happen to be on a soap currently. I can act in a whole different range of formats and disciplines theatre, radio, whatever it might be.'"

The pair talked about their move to a Peak District farm in the new BBC show Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure, and Fletcher also talked about holding out for a place on Strictly, having been turned down for the show two years before he was finally called up as a last-minute replacement for the injured Jamie Laing.

He said it was 'hard enough' for soap actors to go on to other jobs, that to then go on to a reality show or entertainment show could put you to the 'back of the line again'.

Kelvin Fletcher won an award for his performance as Andy Hopwood (Sugden) at the British Soap Awards. (Photo by Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Kelvin Fletcher won an award for his performance as Andy Hopwood (Sugden) at the British Soap Awards. (Photo by Michael Crabtree - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

He added: "For me, it doesn't make you a bad actor, but the way the industry is, it's so selective and sometimes a little bit snobby, you kind of put yourself back at the queue or back to the line again.

"So I kind of held out for Strictly and then when I had the 'no's' it was a little bit of a crushing blow, really. But that's part of it, as a jobbing actor you get many 'no's, and that's all part of the process."

Listen to the full episode to hear Kelvin talk about being rejected by Strictly before going on to win the whole series and how the farm was actually sold when they first set their hearts on it

White Wine Question Time Banner
White Wine Question Time Banner

Fletcher also spoke about their lack of experience in farming when they decided to throw themselves into this new way of life in the Peak District. He said he finds it fascinating but that the role doesn't scare him because he takes the attitude of 'what I don't know today, I'll certainly know tomorrow'.

He told Thornton: "At times it can be pretty overwhelming, a little bit daunting, because there's so much you need to learn and understand and there's a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.

Kelvin Fletcher and Liz Marsland with their two children in the show Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure about their move to start a farm in the Peak District
Kelvin Fletcher and Liz Marsland with their two children in the show Kelvin's Big Farming Adventure about their move to start a farm in the Peak District

"Not just for the upkeep of the animals and their well being but just to run a business as well."

He said that making the site commercially viable was the exciting bit for them as creatives, but did talk about his early gaffe in farming, where he had shown his inexperience by not realising there were different breeds of sheep.

Read more: Kelvin Fletcher to Jeremy Clarkson – the celebrities who've become farmers

He said: "We've got to think out of the box and think 'how can we make this work?' so it's all been a roller coaster. Obviously what you guys are seeing does make for entertaining TV because yes, I didn't know that with various breeds [of sheep]. I just thought sheep was sheep, you put them in the field, they eat the grass and job's a good un!"

WATCH: Kelvin Fletcher on being turned down for Strictly Come Dancing twice, before going on to win the whole series

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting