Strictly’s Oti Mabuse says this year’s series is “my next, not my last”

The comment follows rumours the two-time champion could exit the show.

Oti Mabuse Strictly 2019 (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing superstar Oti Mabuse has quashed rumours that she is leaving the BBC One competition series while on the red carpet for the Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2021.

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The talented performer has won the celebrity tournament for two years in a row, first with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher and again with comedian Bill Bailey in December.

The success has catapulted her to national attention, securing follow-up gigs on both The Greatest Dancer and ITV’s The Masked Dancer, which recently launched its first UK edition to strong viewership.

In April 2021, Mabuse made headlines after stating in an interview with The Telegraph that the next series of Strictly Come Dancing will be her “last”, but has now retracted those comments.

When comedian Tom Allen asked whether she would be bidding farewell to the ballroom later this year, Mabuse clarified: “It’s going to be my next one [series], not my last.”

That said, the acclaimed dancer was somewhat cryptic about her future projects, as when Allen asked if she would stay with Strictly for “a bit longer”, she replied: “We’ll see”.

The Strictly pro remarked that today’s BAFTA ceremony is the first time that she has seen former dance partner Bailey since the 2020 series wrapped up at Christmastime.

“I’m really excited about that, just to be here obviously and see some incredible, incredible people – but also Bill,” she joked.

The Masked Dancer’s first series came to an end this weekend on ITV, with Mabuse’s Strictly colleague Craig Revel Horwood among the several famous faces unveiled.

“It was so much fun… everything felt amazing.” she said, acknowledging that people are particularly enthusiastic about dance after a year stuck at home. “You want to dress up as a car wash and go out and just have the time of your life.”

The latter comment was a reference to former Olympian Louis Smith, who took home top prize at The Masked Dancer final on Saturday night.

Check out our BAFTA TV Awards 2021 live blog and our full list of BAFTA TV Awards 2021 winners.

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The Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2021 took place on Sunday 6th June. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide.