Oti Mabuse (opens in new tab) has confirmed she is quitting Strictly Come Dancing after seven years on the show with a touching statement shared on Instagram.
The pro dancer previously hinted that she was set to leave (opens in new tab) the show after the 2021 series and has now said her farewells in a touching Instagram post, confirming that she will not be returning to the BBC smash hit in 2022.
Strictly has since announced new pros for the upcoming series (opens in new tab).
Oti, who danced to victory with comedian Bill Bailey in the 2020 series of Strictly, posted a carousel of snaps with her previous dance partners, revealing her true feelings about her decision to leave the dancing competition.
She captioned the post with, “Never easy to say goodbye ♥️ 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 glitter ball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs, and incredible professional dancers!"
She then went on to add, “I’m honestly so grateful to The BBC and will always remember that Strictly and 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. 💛”
Oti then ended her statement, writing, “I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”
Fans were devastated by the news, flooding her comments with well-wishes.
One wrote, “oh no!!! Absolutely devastated, won’t be the same without her 💔😢”
Another added, “Favourite dancer ever!!!! Good luck with your new chapter ❤️❤️❤️❤️”
Fellow Strictly pro and winner of the 2021 competition (opens in new tab), Giovanni Pernice also commented, “My friend!! I’m gonna miss you so so much!! you are a star my darling!! I had the pleasure to share the stage with you!! ❤️”
Oti has lifted the Glitterball trophy twice, but in the 2021 competition, she and rugby player Ugo Monye were sadly voted out in one of the dreaded dance-offs. They were also forced to pull out of the Strictly live performance (opens in new tab) due to Ugo suffering from ongoing back issues.
Now Oti has revealed she is moving on to join the judging panel on Dancing on Ice 2022 (opens in new tab).