After seven years, Oti Mabuse decided to step away from the BBC series. The professional dancer shared this news on her Instagram on Tuesday and explained that she’ll always treasure the friends she made on the show.
“Never easy to say goodbye. I have been part of the most amazing TV show, ‘Strictly Come Dancing‘ for the past seven years and it has been an incredible time. Lifting the glitter ball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs and incredible professional dancers! You are my family and I adore you all forever. Thank you @sarahjamesface @jack.will.g and @jasongilkison for truly believing in me.”
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Sharing her gratitude for the series, she added, “I’m honestly so grateful to The BBC and will always remember that Strictly and BBC brought me to the UK – which I now call home and I have learnt and grown so much. – Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family especially, friends, Strictly fans and judges who have been my support throughout my Strictly journey, thank you for being incredible! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made everyday unforgettable! I love you.”
“I will always Keep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience! Lots of Love Oti xxx,” she concluded.
The sensational dancer added several images of her time on the show alongside all the famous faces she worked with since she joined the show’s thirteenth series.
Mabuse Left Behind A Dazzling Legacy
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Following her Instagram announcement, Executive Producer of Strictly Dancing, Sarah James, gushed about Mabuse’s dazzling legacy.
“Her energy, creativity, and talent have contributed to so many of the show’s most memorable moments, and she will be hugely missed, not only by viewers but the entire team.
She leaves a dazzling legacy behind her as the only professional dancer to lift the Glitterball Trophy in two consecutive years.
We couldn’t be prouder of Oti and what she has achieved on the show. She will always be at the very heart of our Strictly family, and we wish her every success in her already bright future.”
Head Judge Shirley Ballas also wrote, “I’m so proud of you in so many ways. You for sure have been a big part of the show, and you will be missed. We will see you move forward in such a positive light.
Looking forward to following your future. May your candle continue to glow brightly for all those around you.”
“Leaving one amazing legacy behind. You are a superstar and one of the hardest working women I know. Not even the sky’s the limit for you,” a former BBC presenter added.
Fans And Co-stars Express Heartbreaking Reactions
The news thoroughly gutted fans as one of them said, “Nooo!”
“Can’t imagine the show without you. You will be so missed Oti,” another added.
Under the announcement, several of Mabuse’s co-stars sent in their good wishes.
“My friend!! I’m gonna miss you so much!! you are a star my darling!! I had the pleasure to share the stage with you!!” Graziano Di Prima wrote.
“Good luck for the future queen,” Giovanni Pernice added.
Luba Mushtuk joined in: “All the luck in the world to you for the next chapter ! Will miss you a lot.”
Oti’s sister, Motsi, a judge on Strictly, penned: “It’s time to fly, baby girl! I am so proud of you fearless, courageous, and so looking forward to seeing your dreams come true.”
Her Stint With ‘Strictly Come Dancing’
The 31-year-old has been a part of the dance show since 2015 and was the only professional to win the competition in two years.
She first won with former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 before retaining the trophy in 2020 with comedian Bill Bailey.
Her other Strictly partners have been Jonnie Peacock, Graeme Swann, Danny Mac, Anthony Ogogo, and most recently, Ugo Monye.
Mabuse has become one of the most famous professionals on the show, although she has been branching out away from Strictly in recent years.
She has presented Morning Live and was a judge on The Greatest Dancer for two series in 2019 and 2020.
Mabuse Will Be Judge On 2022’s ‘Dancing On Ice’
ITV recently announced that Mabuse will be taking over from John Barrowman as a judge on “Dancing On Ice.”
As she spoke about her new role at the time, Mabuse said, “As a professional dancer, I have always had so much respect for the skating professionals on Dancing On Ice.
It is an exceptional skill that is also so beautiful to watch. I’m enthusiastic about joining the panel alongside the legendary Torvill, Ashley Banjo, and Dean.
I can’t wait to see the celebrities thrive as they learn how to ice-skate and champion the professional skaters as they create incredible choreography.
Having been on both sides of the table, I know a bit of how they’ll be feeling. It’s more than an honor, and I already can’t wait to join the family.”