Oti Mabuse has announced her departure from Strictly Come Dancing after seven years on the BBC show.
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The professional dancer joined the Strictly family in 2015 and has the only pro to have won the show in consecutive years. The 31-year-old was crowned the winner of the 2019 series with Kelvin Fletcher before lifting the glitterball again in 2020 with Bill Bailey An official statement posted to the official Strictly Twitter account read: "Oti has been a truly wonderful part of Strictly for the past seven years.
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"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."
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In a statement released earlier this morning via social media, Oti said: “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 Glitterball twice and having the best journey with all my celebrities, but also meeting and working with the best team, crew, producers, celebs and professional dancers! You are my family and I adore you all forever.
Oti is the only professional dancer to have won Strictly twice in consecutive years
She continued: "I’m honestly so grateful to the BBC and will always remember that Strictly and the 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 in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.
Oti has said the decision to leave the BBC ballroom show was "difficult"
"Dance will always be my first love and to everyone, my family, friends, Strictly fans who have been my support throughout my Strictly journey, thank you for being incredible! You are irreplaceable in my heart and have made every day unforgettable! I love you. I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”
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The news comes just a month after Oti's debut as a judge on rival show Dancing on Ice. In January, the South-African born star began her new role as a judge on the ITV show alongside Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo.
The star has been making a move into the world of judging in recent years, like her sister Motsi who sits on the panel of the BBC programme. In 2019, she appeared as a judge on The Greatest Dancer, which was followed by a stint on The Masked Dancer last year.
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