Oti Mabuse: 'The next series of Strictly will be my last'

·2-min read

Oti Mabuse has revealed that the next series of Strictly Come Dancing will be her last.

It was reported in March that officials at the BBC dancing competition were concerned that the reigning Strictly champ, the only dancer to lift the glitterball trophy in consecutive years, would quit the show after she was hired to serve as a judge on the ITV competition The Masked Dancer.

And in an interview with The Telegraph's Stella magazine, Oti confirmed that she has signed on for just one more year.

"I love to dance and also I love bringing joy to so many people. But I think that will be the last one," she announced, before joking that she'd like to be paired with Zac Efron for her final series to soften the blow of her exit.

"To be part of a show like Strictly, which is so diverse in every sense of the word, is incredible," she gushed. "It always pushes to open new doors. You almost forget this year we had JJ (Chalmers, Invictus Games champion) and Will (Bayley, gold-medal winning Paralympian) the year before, it’s become a normal thing. I’m sure they will have a male same-sex couple this year."

The 30-year-old is also grateful to the show for opening doors and giving her the exposure to plot her next career move.

"Honestly, as a woman I can’t be dancing forever," she confessed. "Never in a million years did I think, 'Oh, I can open my own Oti Mabuse Dance Studio and teach, and do something else I love.'

"Having choices like The Masked Dancer and live presenting was only possible for me because of coming to the U.K. There are so many possibilities here. When I was growing up in Pretoria there were none."

Oti, who joined Strictly in 2015, won the 2020 series with Bill Bailey and the 2019 edition with Kelvin Fletcher.

She replaced Rita Ora on The Masked Dancer panel and will judge alongside Davina McCall, Jonathan Ross, and Mo Gilligan.