Oti Mabuse: Strictly star talks ‘ups and downs’ in farewell message as New Year arrives

Strictly: Oti Mabuse says she’s ‘getting emotional’

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The Masked Singer panellist Oti Mabuse recalled falling head over heels in love with BBC Radio 2, being picked to become a judge on Dancing On Ice for 2022 and many more memorable moments. Taking to Instagram to share her review of the last 12 months with her 637,000 followers, she received a deluge of warm wishes from fans.

2021 YOU’VE been a RIDE!

Oti Mabuse

“If you would have asked if my 2021 would look like this at the beginning of the year I would have laughed,” she captioned a photo of herself alongside Gethin Jones.

“There have been ups and downs but throughout it all I was grateful for every single opportunity.”

The South African born star name-checked the BBC Morning Live Team, Packed Lunch on C4 and BBC’s The One Show for being part of what made her 2021 special.

“Starting my first radio experience with @bbcradio2…made me fall head over heals [sic] with it,” she added. “And my first podcast learning from some incredible friends I have all about their lives, journey and mental health.”

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“Bestseller children dance books, the dance school @otimabusedancestudio ran so incredible by @mariusiepure and of course @bbcstrictly doing my last dance with @billbaileyofficial and finishing off the year with @ugomonye being at home tops it all,” she wrote, listing one triumph after another.

“2021 YOU’VE been a RIDE!

“One I won’t forget – thank you to everyone who’s helped me learn, given me a chance and supported this year for to make it what it was 2022 is upon us LETS GROW #bye2021 #grateful.”

She also took the time to support fans in the comments section who had overcome challenges of their own and triumphed in their own way.

“For me, from the outside, 2021 looks like it didn’t change much,” wrote one follower, hfufuhkb.

“I still can’t walk (newly disabled) and my hair is still matted like it was last new year.

“But something I have noticed is that my self-esteem has gone from rock bottom to higher. I’m thankful for that.”

An admiring Oti returned the positive energy, replying to his comment with the words: “Lovely, congratulations to you.”

Meanwhile, amylacey1b wrote to Oti: “It’s been amazing to watch and see each and every chapter open for you, you’ve smashed each and every venture you’ve been on.

“Can’t wait to see what happens in 2022 – good luck with everything you’ve got waiting for you.” (sic)

Mrspatisserie concurred: “An absolute natural but please don’t leave Strictly!!!”

However, claims have been made that the star is “unlikely” to return to the show.

The Strictly champion and dance school director is expecting great moments ahead, after being invited to join Dancing On Ice alongside fellow judges Ashley Banjo, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Meanwhile, celebrity publicist Harry Rutter told The Metro: “It is very rare that talent would switch between BBC and ITV shows [so] this would have been an almost too good to be true offer for Oti – one she couldn’t refuse.”

He continued: “The Strictly star has over 635,000 loyal followers on Instagram who will all now, if they don’t already, be tuning into Dancing On Ice because they’re invested in Oti as a personality.

“I can’t imagine a return to Strictly after joining a primetime ITV show.

“There definitely comes a point where stars just fancy a change. It’s a deal that, if done correctly, works both ways for the stars and networks.”

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