Oti Mabuse has announced she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing after seven years as a professional partner.
The South African dancer, 31, has appeared on the BBC One show since 2015 and recently became a judge on the latest series of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, prompting speculation about her future with Strictly.
She won the BBC dancing show two years in a row with soap star Kelvin Fletcher and comedian Bill Bailey.
Mabuse revealed she would be leaving Strictly on her Instagram, writing: “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.
“Thank you @sarahjamesface @jack.will.g and @jasongilkison for truly believing in me.”
Mabuse said she was “honestly so grateful to The BBC and will always remember that Strictly and 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”.
She added: “I can’t put in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.
“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.”
Ending her post, she said: “I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience!”
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