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Oti Mabuse talks leaving Strictly and who she thinks will win this year

Oti Mabuse has opened up about leaving Strictly Come Dancing – and revealed her tip to win this year.

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The professional dancer stepped down from the BBC One series earlier this year.

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show this Saturday, Oti says of leaving: “Strictly’s always been this incredible thing. Everybody loves it, so passionate. That’s really nice, to be a part of something so great, so loved, celebrities want to do it, everybody wants to be famous so they can end up on Strictly.

Oti Mabuse - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Oti Mabuse – (C) BBC – Photographer: Guy Levy

“Now, I wanted to move on, I get to go out every Saturday night.”

She adds: “I go out where I don’t have to dance.”

Quizzed several times by Jonathan on who she thinks will win, a reluctant Oti ultimately says: “Tyler or Hamza… I don’t want to influence people to vote. I love them all.”

Oti goes on to speak about sister Motsi appearing as a judge on the show and their mum’s reaction.

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She says: “The first two years was great, Bill was amazing. The last one it didn’t go so well. When she was like, ‘What is going on, who are these people, who are these judges, what do they know…? That’s my sister.

“Motsi was like, ‘Mum, what are you talking about?’ Motsi said [to me], ‘I went from the first born daughter to ‘these judges’.’ She got really upset, she got emotional and I just kept writing to Motsi, ‘I don’t think you should come home for Christmas you know.’ I had so much fun making jokes about it.”

Oti adds of her mum: “She did not stay out of it. She’s very protective. So when you troll us, understand that my mum is watching you troll us. She replies to everyone. She’s in the Strictly group chats, she’s in the Dancing On Ice group chats, Masked Dancer… we literally go, ‘Mum, get off social media!'”

Oti Mabuse: My South Africa.
Oti Mabuse: My South Africa. Credit: BBC/Plimsoll Productions

Oti also discusses her new documentary for the BBC which sees her go back to South Africa.

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She explains: “This is basically me going back to South Africa. People see us and it’s all glamorous and we’re teaching celebrities and we’re working our hardest, giving 10 to 10, but people don’t really know where we’re from. I was really lucky that the BBC was like, we want to know your story because it sounds incredible. We went on a journey of going back to South Africa. Because of lockdown and everything I hadn’t been home in about three years. It was me seeing South Africa as the new South Africa. Had things changed, were things worse, were things difficult still?”

The Jonathan Ross Show airs Saturday at 10:10PM on ITV1 and ITV Hub.

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