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Tuesday 7th July 2020

Strictly Come Dancing 2019 launch: New judge Motsi Mabuse apologises for Blackpool remark

The new series will begin very soon

New Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse apologised for calling Blackpool "ugly" at the launch on Monday.

Motsi joined the 15 celebrities, hosts Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly, the professional dancers as well as the fellow judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli and Craig Revel Horwood on the red carpet.

Motsi, who is replacing Darcey Bussell on the BBC show, had branded Blackpool "ugly" in her autobiography.

Motsi had branded Blackpool "ugly" in her autobiography (Credit: Wenn)

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing's Joe Sugg to host official podcast

She first visited the seaside resort in 1988 and wrote in her book: "Every dancer knows the town, which is the ugliest that I had ever seen."

However, at last night's Strictly launch, Motsi begged for forgiveness as the town will host the show's special episode later in the series.

Speaking to The Sun, the dancer said: "Oh come on guys give a girl a break! It was 20 years ago I was young and innocent.

The stars hit the red carpet last night (Credit:

"Blackpool is absolutely huge in Strictly but when you come from South Africa and you have your first impressions and you arrive in Blackpool, well it's different. But what I'll also say, if you walk into the ballroom it's absolutely spectacular."

When asked if she felt nervous about returning to Blackpool, Motsi added: "Because I'm going to get a boycott? No I'm cool. What is life about? Forgiving, come on!"

She said she's "looking forward" to going back because there are "such strong memories" in her head.

It was 20 years ago I was young and innocent.

Motsi wowed at yesterday's red carpet launch, wearing a stunning red skirt and black top.

Catherine looked stunning on the red carpet (Credit: Wenn)

Meanwhile, former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley, rowing champion James Cracknell and EastEnders actress Emma Barton also slipped into the glitzy outfits for the launch.

Joining them on the red carpet was Anneka Rice, Saffron Barker, Alex Scott, Chris Ramsay, David James, Jamie Laing, Karim Zeroual, Emma Weymouth, Mike Bushell and Will Bayley.

Emma wowed in a red Spanish-inspired dress (Credit: Wenn)

Catherine, 35, looked stunning in a fairytale-inspired gown while Emma, 42, wowed in a red glitzy number.

Speaking at the launch, Catherine admitted she used to "avoid" dancing.

She told the MailOnline: "I used to avoid it I was never comfortable dancing."

Anneka showed off her incredible pins in a blue dress (Credit: Wenn)

Gushing over the show, Catherine added: "It's amazing. It's magical everything about this show is magical and we've only been here five minutes! I'm just so excited for what's to come."

Meanwhile at the launch, TV presenter Anneka, 60, showed off her incredible figure in a blue mini dress.

Saffron wowed in a short blue dress (Credit: Wenn)

Internet star Saffron wowed in a blue ruffled dress.

Footballer Alex looked amazing in a golden dress as she joined fellow sporting star Will, who wore a plum velvet suit.

Alex beamed on the red carpet (Credit: Wenn)

Made In Chelsea star Jamie also stood out on the red carpet, wearing a bright blue suit.

Jamie definitely took advantage of the glitz and glamour (Credit: Wenn)

Sports presenter Mike looked great in a floral shirt and blue velvet blazer.

Mike wore a velvet blue suit (Credit: Wenn)

Viscountess Emma wore a stunning pink floral dress to the launch, pairing it with golden heels.

Emma looked great in a pink floral number (Credit: Wenn)

And it wasn't just the contestants who wowed on the red carpet.

Judge Shirley wowed in a blue and white dress as she posed alongside Bruno, who wore a black suit with a crisp white shirt.

Bruno and Shirley took to the red carpet together (Credit: Wenn)

Craig also looked great, wearing a black suit with a white shirt.

Craig will be returning (Credit: Wenn)

Hosts Claudia and Tess also hit the red carpet together.

Claudia wore a stunning in a red sequin suit while Tess wore a teal velvet dress which featured a slit up the side.

Claudia and Tess posed together (Credit: Wenn)

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: Katya Jones's celebrity partner 'revealed' following her split from husband Neil

The new series is set to begin later this year as the 15 celebrities compete for the Glitterball trophy.

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