Len Goodman predicts backlash for new Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse

Len Goodman has given his take on Strictly Come Dancing’s new judge.


The BBC confirmed earlier this year that Motsi Mabuse would join Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Darcey Bussell on the panel who stepped down in March.

Motsi Mabuse, the South African-born former German Latin Champion and South African Champion, is the sister of current Strictly professional dancer Oti Mabuse.

She’s appeared on the German version of Strictly Come Dancing, first as a professional dancer and since 2011 as a judge.

In a new interview, Strictly’s former head judge Len Goodman has predicted a backlash for Motsi whatever happens.

“Can you imagine if Oti is in the final two in the dance-off?” he said to The Sun newspaper. “Whatever decision she makes Motsi will get criticism.

“If she puts Oti through then people will say she’s doing her sister a favour. If she votes her off they will say she didn’t want to be seen to be keeping it in the family.”


Len went on to defend Motsi from complaints over her landing the job ahead of long-time pro dancer Anton Du Beke, saying: “She has got her place on merit so now let’s give her a chance and see how she does.”

He added: “I am a massive Anton fan. He’s not just a brilliant dancer, he’s a fantastic personality.

“I think the BBC should eventually look to reward him for his loyalty with a role on the show of some kind. I hope they do.”

Meanwhile, Len ruled out ever returning to the series after stepping down in 2016.

“I’ve had my time,” he said. “I didn’t want to carry on until I was a dribbling wreck. And there’s only so many things you can say about the Viennese Waltz.”

Motsi will join Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas, who replaced Len on the panel in 2017, on this year’s show.


Strictly Come Dancing waltzes back onto BBC One for its 17th series in September.

A total of 15 celebrities have been announced for the Strictly Come Dancing cast this autumn.