Oti Mabuse and Ugo Monye pull out of Strictly live show for heartbreaking reason

Oti Mabuse and Ugo Monye
(Image credit: BBC)

Oti Mabuse and Ugo Monye might have delighted fans with their Moana Movie Week performance, but sadly viewers won’t get to see the popular couple take to the Strictly dance floor this weekend. 

From the moment Strictly Come Dancing started, Oti Mabuse and former England rugby player Ugo Monye have become one of the hugely popular couples who are on Strictly Come Dancing 2021. And this year’s show is made all the more special for Oti fans in particular as earlier this year the professional dancer confirmed that she will be leaving the show after the 2021 series.

With other changes including Anton Du Beke becoming a judge and dancer Janette Manrara becoming one of the Strictly It Takes Two presenters, this is certainly a series to remember.  


Though sadly for Oti and Ugo fans, the couple won’t be dancing on this weekend’s show. Taking to Twitter the rugby star revealed the devastating news, posting his message alongside a wonderful snap of him and Oti as Moana and Maui from Disney’s Moana during last week’s show. 

He bravely wrote, ‘Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to dance this weekend on the show. I have a history of back problems which has always been managed under the guidance of medical professionals. Unfortunately this has been causing me some unwanted problems this week!

The former England rugby player then also revealed some good news about his Strictly future, after his fellow contestant Robert Webb was forced to quit the show due to ill health this week. 

Ugo shared that his Strictly journey is not yet over, adding, ‘I have been advised by medical professionals and with huge support from Strictly to get some treatment & rest to ensure that I can get myself back to full capacity & fighting fit for next week.’ 

Gutted Oti & I won’t be dancing this weekend but wishing all the other contestants the best of luck & will be cheering them on from home! @bbcstrictly’, he added. 

Fans were quick to support his choice, recognising that the star’s health is more important. One person sympathetically declared, ‘Awwwhh no! Take it easy & I hope you are able to continue your Strictly journey.’

Get better soon Ugo, can't wait to see you back on the dance floor’, someone else commented. 

Another person agreed, reflecting on how much they’ll miss watching him and Oti perform, writing, ‘Hope you are better soon! Will miss you and Oti.

Oh no, gutted for you Hope you're fighting fit again next week x’, a fellow Ugo and Oti fan shared. 

This sad news comes after the couple advanced significantly up the Strictly Come Dancing leaderboard last weekend to secure an impressive score of 31/40 for their couple’s choice dance.


This is a sign of Ugo’s journey as a dancer compared to the couple's first ever score of 18 for their Samba, though this was all the more significant given that Ugo dedicated the performance to his late father. Whilst waiting for his scores during the first show, he explained to Claudia Winkleman that his dad had recently passed away and that his funeral had been that morning.

Ugo said, “During the funeral they spoke about today being a celebration and that’s exactly how today felt. There’s no better way of celebrating than by dancing.”

Ugo and Oti will be dearly missed this weekend, but fans will be looking forward to seeing them dance again very soon. 

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.