Oti Mabuse quit Strictly 'as she became bigger than the celebrities'

 quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years because she became bigger than the celebrity stars on the show, insiders have claimed. 

The professional dancer, 31, took to Instagram on Tuesday where she confirmed that she wouldn’t be returning to the BBC One programme this autumn. 

Oti wants to pursue other TV opportunities having established herself as a talent show judge with roles on ‘s The and the current series of .

Moving on: Oti Mabuse quit Strictly Come Dancing after seven years because she became bigger than the celebrity stars on the show, insiders have claimed

And now a source has claimed to  that the show were struggling to find celebrities who could ‘match her appeal’ and that ‘rivals were knocking on her door’ with other opportunities that could ‘make her a bigger star’. 

A TV insider told the publication: ‘While BBC bosses are obviously sad to see Oti leave Strictly, it does solve the growing problem of finding celebrities who could match her appeal.

‘Although it was great to have someone like her adding so much glamour and fun, it was also creating a tricky new challenge for producers.

‘Her ever-growing profile saw rivals knocking at her door and she has been tempted away from the Beeb by the prospect of becoming an even bigger star.’

Career: Oti wants to pursue other TV opportunities having established herself as a talent show judge with roles on ITV’s The Masked Dancer and the current series of Dancing On Ice (pictured on DOI) 

The BBC and Oti have been contacted by MailOnline for a comment.

She leaves Strictly after winning the Glitterball trophy for two consecutive years with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37, and comedian Bill Bailey, 56.  

In her leaving announcement Oti shared a selection of photographs highlighting her time on Strictly, with snaps of herself alongside her celebrity partners, and a group shot from the latest series.

She captioned the post: ‘Never easy to say goodbye ♥️ I have been part of the most amazing TV show, Strictly Come Dancing for the past seven years rick and morty xxx it has been an incredible time. 

Success: She leaves Strictly after winning the Glitterball trophy for two consecutive years with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37, and comedian Bill Bailey, 56 (pictured with Bill)  

‘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. If you’re ready to read more info about watch my wife xxx stop by the web page. will.g and @jasongilkison  for truly believing in me. 

‘I’m 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. 

‘I can’t put into words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series. 

Goodbye! Taking to Instagram on Tuesday, the professional dancer confirmed the news that she wouldn’t be returning to the BBC One show

‘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. I will always Keeeep Dancing! and I will never forget my amazing Strictly experience! Lots of Love Oti বাংলা xxx.’ 

Shortly after her own announcement, Strictly Come Dancing paid tribute to Oti in a statement shared on their social media pages.  

It read: ‘Oti has been a truly wonderful part of Strictly for the past seven years.

‘Her energy, creativity and talent have contributed to so many of the show’s most memorable moments old and young xxx 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 also be at the very heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future.’

Her confirmation comes after a TV source revealed to MailOnline earlier this week: ‘Oti has had a fantastic time on Strictly, she has achieved more than she could have ever dreamed of but now is the right time for her to explore new and exciting opportunities that have come her way.

‘We couldn’t be prouder!’ Strictly Come Dancing paid tribute to Oti in a statement shared on their social media pages

‘She will always be thankful to Strictly for giving her a platform in the UK and the memorable experiences that’s had over the years.

‘Now she is looking forward to working on new projects and following in her sister’s steps into judging.’   

Strictly judge Motsi, 40, has been guiding younger sister Oti’s foray into judging and giving her tips. 

She made her judging debut in 2019 alongside Cheryl Tweedy, 38, in BBC One series The Greatest Dancer but her switch to ITV show The Masked Dancer impressed bosses, eventually leading to her role of judge on Dancing On Ice.

The South African dancer was also recently revealed as the host of new ITV dating show Romeo & Duet, telling her Instagram followers last month: ‘My heart is just full with excitement and joy about this announcement.’    

Double champ! She won the glitterball for the first time with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37 (pictured in 2019)

Oti is an eight-time South African Latin American Champion and first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 when she was partnered with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, 33, finishing in 14th place.

The following year she reached the final with Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, 33, losing out to eventual winner Ore Oduba, 36.

In 2017, she was partnered with Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, 28, finishing in 8th place before performing with Graeme Swann, 42, for the show’s 2018 series, where she was knocked out in Week 8.   

She became only the second professional dancer to win the show twice, lifting the Glitterball with Kelvin in 2019 and Bill in 2020.

During her final series in 2021 she starred with rugby ace Ugo Monye, 38, finishing 11th in the Covid-hit season.

In April last year, Oti hinted 2021 could be her final season on Strictly.

She said: ‘I love to dance and also I love bringing joy to so many people, but I think that [this year’s Strictly] will be the last one.

‘To be part of a show like Strictly, which is so diverse in every sense of the word, is incredible.’

Bye, team! Oti shared a selection of photographs highlighting her time on Strictly, with snaps of herself with all of her celebrity partners, and a group shot from the latest series

Advertisement