Oti Mabuse leaves Strictly just weeks after opening up about feeling 'very exposed'—fellow dancers wish her well

Oti Mabuse has made the decision to move on from Strictly Come Dancing and has been flooded with support from fans and former co-stars

Oti Mabuse leaves Strictly
(Image credit: Karwai Tang / Contributor / Getty Images)

It was announced that Oti Mabuse has left Strictly Come Dancing and will no longer be participating in the beloved dancing competition.

Strictly announced on social media, "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. She will always be at the very heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future."

Oti's departure isn't a huge shock for fans as there were rumors that Oti Mabuse is 'unlikely' to return to Strictly Come Dancing after she announced her new role as a judge on the ITV show Dancing on Ice.

This announcement also comes less than two weeks since Oti Mabuse revealed the abuse she's 'very exposed' to while competing on Strictly Come Dancing during a BBC interview.

See more

Oti herself announced her departure on Instagram and thanked the 'best team' who had all been a part of her Strictly journey. She did not explain why she has left the show, but it is thought that she is ready for a new challenge after her long stint on the competition.

Oti said in her post, "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! You are my family and I adore you all forever."

She added that this was a decision she had not made lightly. "I can’t put in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series. 💛" revealed Oti.

"Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family especially, friends, strictly fans and judges who have been my support throughout my strictly journey, thank you for being incredible! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made everyday unforgettable! I love you," the dancer concluded as she shared some images of her favorite memories on the show.

Following this announcement, many former contestants and judges involved in the Strictly Come Dancing family have reached out to this beloved member of the team and wished her well with her career.

Oti's sister, Motsi Mabuse who is one of the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 judges, took to Twitter to say, "I am so proud of this girl ❤️❤️❤️❤️I was there from your very [first] step and I always wanted to look out for you all the way but watching you grow is a privilege, I sit back and tears of pride roll down !! Love you sis go get them and Good Luck 🍀 @otimabuse she is a Lion, fearless."

See more

Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac who was partnered with Oti during the fourteenth season of Strictly Come Dancing took to Twitter to share his love for the dancer.

"@OTIMABUSE! (This must be how it feels when the kids leave home!?) You are, & will always be, THE GREATEST. Not just cos you're THE BEST, but cos you're GREAT, in every way. Congrats on everything you are & thanks for all you gave to us. Go fly even higher, my dear friend!⭐️," said Danny.

Former contestant Dan Walker also commented on the Strictly's legends departure. "Absolutely lovely human and a Strictly legend. Long may she reign," said the BBC presenter. 

Other former coworkers also wished the professional dancer well on her departure post. "Good luck for the future Queen," said Giovanni Pernice. 

Graziano Di Prima 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 !!"

Dianne Buswell chimed in to say, "Love you mabuse, you're a star we will miss you so much xxxxxx"

See more

Fans are devastated that Oti will be leaving the show and many have shared their grief on social media. 

"Oti Mabuse is leaving Strictly and I think I'll never feel joy again," said one Strictly fan. "Oti Mabuse quitting strictly is worse news than the imminent world war," said another devastated fan on Twitter. 

Although Oti has left Strictly, fans can still see her on their screens on the judging panel for Dancing on Ice. The next episode of Dancing on Ice is scheduled for Sunday, February 27, at 6:30pm on ITV.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.