The lookalike sister of Strictly Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse has been confirmed replace Darcey Bussell on the judging panel of the BBC1 show this year.
Motsi Mabuse, 38, is currently a judge on Let’s Dance (the German version of the Strictly), having started out on the show as a professional dancer with a celebrity partner in 2007.
After impressing viewers and show bosses, she was upgraded to become a judge for series four in 2011, and has remained in the role for the past nine series.
NEW JUDGE: Motsi Mabuse, 38, the lookalike sister of Strictly Come Dancing pro Oti Mabuse has been confirmed replace Darcey Bussell on the judging panel of the BBC1 show this year
Originally from South Africa, Motsi is a former South African Champion and German Latin Champion in 2009 and 2010.
The dancer commented: ‘I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel.
‘I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can’t wait to get started!’
Oti Mabuse was reportedly ruled out of replacing Darcey Bussell on the Strictly judging panel, over fears it would upset the other professional dancers.
Strictly: Oti Mabuse was reportedly ruled out of replacing Darcey Bussell on the Strictly judging panel, over fears it would upset the other professional dancers (pictured last year)
The 28-year-old first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 and has already had a taste at what it would be like to judge, having appeared on this year’s The Greatest Dancer.
A source told The Sun: ‘The move would have caused uproar among the cast – it would be one thing giving Anton the role, but Oti is still fledgling in her career.
‘The thought was that the other dances wouldn’t react well to Oti being a judge, she is popular, but if the dynamic changed and she went from being one of them into another role on the show it’s likely that this would cause friction and upset
‘But bosses are keen on handing the role to a woman to keep the panel fair.’
MailOnline has contacted Oti and Strictly Come Dancing for comment at the time.
Talented: The 28-year-old first joined Strictly in 2015 and has already had a taste at what it would be like to judge, having appeared on this year’s The Greatest Dancer (pictured last yeaR)
Insiders have named Anton Du Beke and Harry Judd at top contenders, but there is talk BBC bosses want to sign up a woman to ‘keep the panel fair’.
Oti previously said she would rather dance than take the place of Dame Darcey on the judging panel.
‘I love being a dancer and I enjoy creating and choreographing and I think I love that part more,’ Oti told HELLO! magazine.
‘Strictly is the biggest show on television so it’s a big deal for anyone who gets it. They need to know what they are doing.’
Oti described Dame Darcey as ‘an incredible dancer’ and a special influence on the show.
‘What she brought to Strictly was so special. Her replacement has to be completely different from what we have had, but someone who has the nurturing nature of Darcey.’
Departure: Darcey officially announced she was leaving Strictly in April with a lengthy statement after six years on the panel (pictured in 2016)
Darcey officially announced she was leaving Strictly in April with a lengthy statement after six years on the panel.
She said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘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’.
Talented: It comes after Oti said she would rather dance than take the place of Dame Darcey Bussell on the Strictly judging panel (pictured with partner Graeme Swann)