Oti Mabuse quitting Strictly Come Dancing after seven years

Oti Mabuse is to leave Strictly Come Dancing as a professional.

The dancer has announced she will be departing the BBC One show after seven years in the ballroom.

Oti said: “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 Glitterball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs and professional dancers! You are my family and I adore you all forever.

“I’m honestly so grateful to the BBC and will always remember that Strictly and the 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.

“I can’t put in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.

“Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family, friends, Strictly fans who have been my support throughout my Strictly journey, thank you for being incredible! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made every day unforgettable! I love you.

“I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”

The BBC Strictly team added: “Oti has been a truly wonderful part of Strictly for the past seven years. 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. She will always be at the very heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future.”

The news comes after Oti joined the judging panel of Dancing On Ice.

Oti became this year’s new judge alongside returning Ashley Banjo, Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill.

Although her first series isn’t over, it’s been reported that bosses are already keen to get Oti back next year.

Speaking earlier this year about whether she’d stay on Strictly, Oti said: “For me I’m just really excited to be here on Dancing On Ice working and doing what I love.

“You know how I am, I work by the rules and there will be an announcement made. I can’t give a tease because I will be in trouble.”

Oti added: “Those conversations happen in February. It will have to be something we all talk about as a team.”

Alongside Dancing On Ice, Oti is also a part of The Masked Dancer panel and will host new dating series Romeo & Duet.

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing will air on BBC One later this year.

The rest of this year’s professional dancer line up is to be announced.