Oti Mabuse became too big for Strictly

Oti Mabuse quit Strictly after becoming ‘bigger than the celebrity stars’

She's become a firm favourite over the years

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Oti Mabuse reportedly quit Strictly Come Dancing after becoming ‘bigger than the celebrity stars’, insiders have claimed.

The professional dancer, who has since joined Dancing On Ice, announced her departure from the BBC One show yesterday (February 22).

But after competing on the series for seven years, has Oti become too big for Strictly?

Dancing On Ice judge Oti Mabuse supports sister Motsi
Oti Mabuse announced her departure from Strictly yesterday (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Oti Mabuse quits Strictly Come Dancing

According to insiders, Strictly bosses were having difficulty finding celebrities who could “match Oti’s appeal”.

A TV insider told The Sun: “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.”

She will always be at the very heart of our Strictly family

The source also claimed: “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.”

Meanwhile, Sarah James, executive producer of Strictly, told ED!: “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 and she will be hugely missed, not only by viewers, but the entire team.

Oti Mabuse still has Dancing On Ice after leaving Strictly
Oti recently made her debut as a judge on Dancing On Ice (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Craig Revel Horwood admits it’s ‘brilliant news’ Oti Mabuse has quit Strictly

“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 on the show.”

She concluded: “She will always be at the very heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future.”

In her leaving announcement, Oti shared a series of photos alongside her past Strictly partners.

Oti announces her show departure

The pro went on to confirm the news and thanked the BBC for helping on her journey.

Oti penned: “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 Glitterball 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!”

Oti Mabuse on Strictly
Oti won Strictly in 2020 with Bill Bailey (Credit: YouTube/BBC)

She continued: “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 in to words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.”

Following the announcement, Craig Revel Horwood praised her decision as “brilliant news”.

Read more: Strictly fans gutted as Oti Mabuse quits show after seven years

Appearing on This Morning, the judge shared: “It’s fantastic – I think it’s brilliant news.

“I mean, she’s becoming a huge star in her own right and I think that is the way to treat the business.”

However, Craig admitted that he will “miss” dancing alongside Oti.

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