Oti Mabuse addresses rumoured Strictly exit as she joins Dancing on Ice judging panel

‘I moved all the way from Africa so I have to make something of myself,’ dancer said

Isobel Lewis
Friday 14 January 2022 12:31
Dancing on Ice 2022 trailer

Oti Mabuse has responded to rumours that she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing.

The ballroom dancer and double Strictly champion was recently named as a judge on the new series of Dancing on Ice.

Mabuse will appear alongside returning judges Jane Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo.

Speaking to The Mirror ahead of the series launch on Sunday (16 January), Mabuse said that an announcement would be made about her future on Strictly soon.

“There will be an announcement that will be made later, but for me, as a person in entertainment, I really want to learn and grow and I want a long career, especially in this country,” she said.

“I moved all the way from Africa so I have to make something of myself, so I’m really trying to learn and do as much as I can for as long as I can while I can.”

Mabuse is one of the most popular professional dancers on Strictly, having joined the show in 201. She won the series in both 2019 and 202 with Kelvin Fletcher and Bill Bailey, respectively.

In 2021, she was eliminated in week five along with partner Ugo Monye.

Mabuse will replace John Barrowman on the Dancing on Ice line-up, after it was confirmed in October that he would not be returning to the show amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

However, ITV denied that this was the reason for Barrowman’s departure, saying: “We thank John Barrowman for two brilliant years on the Dancing On Ice panel.”

Ahead of Dancing on Ice’s return, host Phillip Schofield has joked that Boris Johnson should take part in the show while he’s “looking at different career options” amid growing pressure for him to resign.

Dancing on Ice begins Sunday 16 January at 6.30pm on ITV.

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