Why Oti Mabuse quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years

Oti Mabuse has revealed just why she made the decision to depart Strictly Come Dancing.

The professional dancer announced earlier in 2022 that she was leaving the BBC One series after seven years.

In a new interview, Oti said she “cried for hours” over the decision but felt it was the “right time” to leave.

Dancing on Ice: SR14 on ITV and ITV Hub. Pictured: Oti Mabuse. ©ITV Plc
Dancing on Ice: SR14 on ITV and ITV Hub. Pictured: Oti Mabuse. ©ITV Plc

She told the You magazine: “I lived my best life on that show and it gave me the career I have now, but you need to know when it’s the right time to get off that wave and try new things.

“I didn’t want to hold on and get to the point where I wasn’t happy any more. I left when I was at the peak, in terms of working on the show.”

Oti added: “It feels like I’m leaving family behind – even the backstage team, the people viewers don’t get to see – but when you know it’s time to go, you know.”

Oti’s exit follows her joining ITV’s Dancing On Ice as a new judge.

The dancer is part of this year’s panel together with Ashley Banjo, Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill.

Even before her first season was over, it was reported that bosses were already keen to get Oti back next year.

“She is full of good vibes and just makes everyone laugh. she is so infectious. She’s here to stay hopefully!” a source said.

Oti is also a judge on The Masked Dancer which currently airs against Strictly on Saturday nights this autumn on ITV.

A spin-off from The Masked Singer, the mystery dancing competition sees celebs compete to put on the best dance performance while keeping their identities a secret under mesmerising masks and costumes.

Characters on this year’s show include Cactus, Onomatopoeia, Tomato Sauce, Candlestick, and Scissors.

Alongside Oti, The Masked Dancer features celebrity judges Jonathan Ross, Peter Crouch and Davina McCall with host Joel Dommett.