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Strictly Come Dancing professional, Oti Mabuse, has confirmed she is leaving the BBC competition after seven years, and the programme has already found her replacement.
Polish professional dancer, Jowita Pryzstal, is reportedly set to join the show and pair up with a mystery celebrity when the programme returns later this year.
Oti shared a heartfelt message on Instagram in which she reminisced about her stint on one of the nation’s favourite programmes.
Alongside a string of images with her celebrity partners, holding the Glitterball trophy, and smiling with fellow competitors, she wrote: “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 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.
“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.
“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!”
Oti, 31, won the dance competition with comedian Bill Bailey in 2020, and Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher the year prior.
However, the dancefloor sensation has a very hectic schedule, which sees her judge on The Masked Singer, as well as Dancing On Ice, and she is set to embark on her own dance tour.
Oti’s potential replacement is considered a “rising star” by BBC bosses, after she was trained by Oti on The Greatest Dancer, which she won in 2020 with her boyfriend Michael Danilczuk.
Speaking about the possible new recruit to The Sun Online, a source said: “She is very much seen as a rising star within the show’s team of dancers.
“And producers like to continually introduce fresh blood to the Strictly troupe. That was one of the reasons they brought Oti into the show seven years ago when she was relatively unknown.”
One thing is for sure – we will miss you Oti.