Today, Oti Mabuse has confirmed that she is set to leave Strictly Come Dancing following seven years on the show as a Professional Dancer.
In a statement released earlier this morning via social media, Oti Mabuse 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 into 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!"
Oti is an eight-time South African Latin American Champion and first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015. As well as performing numerous memorable routines in the Strictly ballroom over the years, Oti is the only dancer in the programme’s history to win two consecutive series, having won in 2019 with actor Kelvin Fletcher and most recently in 2020 with comedian Bill Bailey.
Strictly Come Dancing's Executive Producer, Sarah James said "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 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."
Further details regarding the new series, including the professional dancer line-up, will be confirmed in due course.
Strictly Come Dancing will return later this year on BBC One