Motsi Mabuse reveals future Strictly plans after departure of sister Oti

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Motsi Mabuse has said she is “sad” her sister Oti will not be a professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing this year but reveals she will remain on the judging panel for as long as they want her.

The South African-born dancers appeared together on the BBC dance competition for a number of years but in February, Oti, 32, announced she was leaving the show after seven years.

Speaking to Prima magazine, 41-year-old Mabuse, who joined the programme’s judging line-up in 2019, confirmed she had no plans to exit the show any time soon.

Graham Norton Show – London
Oti Mabuse announced earlier this year that she was leaving Strictly (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“I’ll always worry about my sister, but I have to respect her decision and let her go. She’s proven that she can more than protect herself and push herself to new heights.

“Meanwhile, I’ll continue to fly the Mabuse flag on Strictly for as long as they want me.”

Oti, who won the show in 2019 with soap star Kelvin Fletcher and in 2020 with comedian Bill Bailey, had prompted speculation about her future with Strictly after appearing as a judge on the latest series of ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

Motsi Mabuse confirmed she had no plans to exit the BBC dance show any time soon (Prima UK/ Dan Kennedy/PA)

The judge revealed that she leads a double life once the show begins as she commutes between her home in Germany and the Strictly ballroom in the UK.

She explained: “From Monday to Friday, I lead a totally different life. I live in the forest; I take my child to playgroup in my pyjamas; I work out, sleep – and no-one gives a damn about me!

“Then, on Friday and Saturday, I glam it up, before returning to my ‘real’ life.”

Mabuse grew up in a dancing environment, with her mother – when she was aged about six – starting workout classes for women in their home town in South Africa and later setting up a dance school for children.

She revealed that despite her father wanting her to become a layer like him, she began dedicating all her spare time to dancing.

Motsi Mabuse’s mother set up a dance school for children in their home town in South Africa (Prima UK/Dan Kennedy/PA)

Mabuse went on to appear on Let’s Dance, the German version of Strictly Come Dancing, initially as a professional dancer but later as a judge on the show.

She also judged a number of other dance shows before taking over from Dame Darcey Bussell on the Strictly Come Dancing panel.

Despite her success, Mabuse admitted that she would not be encouraging her daughter to go into showbusiness.

She said: “I don’t want my daughter to follow in my dance footsteps! I want to keep her away from all that.

“Obviously, I want her to be proud of the things I’ve done, but if she said she wanted to go into showbusiness, I’d probably lock her up!”

Strictly Come Dancing launches on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on September 17.

Read the full interview in Prima’s October issue, on sale September 8.

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