Strictly Come Dancing new judge revealed as professional Oti Mabuse's big sister

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The big sister of Strictly Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse will replace Darcey Bussell on the judging panel of the BBC1 show this year.

Motsi Mabuse, 38, is currently a judge on the German version of the show, which is called Let’s Dance, having started out on the show as a pro dancer with a celebrity partner.

She was upgraded to become a judge in the fourth series, which aired in 2011, and has remained in the role for the past nine series.

Oti, 28, also started out as a dancer on the German show and has already experienced being judged by her sibling. “Motsi is totally impartial,” said a source. “She will be scrupulously fair, as she always was with Oti on the German version.”

Oti with sister Motsi

Motsi grew up in South Africa but now lives in Germany and is said to be “excitable and warm, just like Oti”. In 2013 she became the German Latin dance champion with Ukranian dancer Evgenij Voznyuk, who became her second husband in 2017, after two years of dating. The couple had a daughter last year.

Motsi Mabuse is headed to Strictly

Previously she was married to Timo Kulczak, whom she met at the British championships in Blackpool before marrying him in 2003. They divorced in 2014.

Some viewers will recognise Motsi from her recent stint alongside her Oti and their middle sister Phemelo on Channel 4’s Celebrity Gogglebox.

She will continue on the German version of the show, which airs at a different time of year.

BBC director of content, Charlotte Moore, said: “Motsi is a brilliant addition to the show. She is a wonderful dancer in her own right and already has years of experience as a judge under her belt. We’re all looking forward to welcoming her to the Strictly family.”

Prima ballerina Bussell, 50, quit the show after seven years on the panel in April, saying she wanted to “give more focus to my many other commitments in dance”.

Dame Darcey Bussell with Craig Revel Horwood, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas

The rest of the judging panel is as it was last year: Shirley Ballas is back as Head Judge, ably assisted by Craig Revel Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.

Hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly are also expected to return to front the popular show for its autumn run.

Darcey revealed she was stepping down in April after seven years as judge, taking over from Alesha Dixon .

 

“It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team. I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire back stage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive,” she said at the time.

Referring to press reports of a feud between her and Shirley, Darcey went on: “I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.

 

The Strictly Come Dancing 2019 lineup is set to be revealed next month

“I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.”

While last year’s winners – and now real-life couple – Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton have barely had time to lug their Glitterball trophy home, there’s only a month to go before the Strictly 2019 lineup is revealed.

Last year the lineup was announced in August, and the launch show aired at the beginning of September.

The celebrities were then given two weeks for their intensive dance training before the first live show.



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