Oti Mabuse reveals she ‘cried for hours’ after telling Strictly Come Dancing bosses she was leaving

Oti Mabuse reveals she ‘cried for hours’ after telling Strictly Come Dancing bosses she was leaving the show – but insists: ‘I left when I was at the peak’

Oti Mabuse reveals today how she ‘cried for hours’ when she told Strictly Come Dancing bosses she was leaving the show, but insists: ‘I left when I was at the peak.’

In her first interview about her dramatic departure, the 31-year-old tells You magazine how, after winning the contest for two consecutive years with Kelvin Fletcher and then Bill Bailey, she broke the news to BBC chiefs over dinner.

‘We cried for hours. I’m still crying now, ‘she says. ‘When I came to Britain I said to myself, “My dream is to win Strictly.” And I have, and it was such an amazing seven years, but I’ve done what I needed to do.

Emotional: Oti Mabuse reveals today how she ‘cried for hours’ when she told Strictly Come Dancing bosses she was leaving the show, but insists: ‘I left when I was at the peak’

‘I feel so emotional. I lived my best life on that show and it gave me the career I have now, but you need to know when it’s the right time to get off that wave and try new things.

‘I didn’t want to hold on and get to the point where I wasn’t happy any more. I left when I was at the peak, in terms of working on the show.

‘It feels like I’m leaving family behind – even the backstage team, the people viewers don’t get to see – but when you know it’s time to go, you know.’

All smiles: In her first interview about her dramatic departure, the 31-year-old tells You magazine how, after winning the contest for two consecutive years with Kelvin Fletcher and then Bill Bailey (pictured), she broke the news to BBC chiefs over dinner

All smiles: In her first interview about her dramatic departure, the 31-year-old tells You magazine how, after winning the contest for two consecutive years with Kelvin Fletcher and then Bill Bailey (pictured), she broke the news to BBC chiefs over dinner

Miss Mabuse, who grew up in a South African township, is embarking on a solo dance tour and will present ITV’s new dating show, Romeo And Duet. In addition, she is a judge on ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

Of her burgeoning career, she says: ‘I’m going into a whole new world of presenting, hosting and speaking because a lot of the time as a dancer, people just want you to stand there and keep quiet. I’ve always wanted to do this. ‘

Miss Mabuse, whose older sister Motsi is a judge on Strictly, was the first black female professional on the BBC show – and says the backstage team weren’t prepared for her.

Future: Miss Mabuse, who grew up in a South African township, is embarking on a solo dance tour and will present ITV's new dating show, Romeo And Duet (pictured with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019)

Future: Miss Mabuse, who grew up in a South African township, is embarking on a solo dance tour and will present ITV’s new dating show, Romeo And Duet (pictured with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019)

‘As black women, we still have to [help people] learn a lot – “Please make sure we have make-up that works for me … make sure somebody can do cornrows or dreadlocks, or that they know my body is different – I’ve got a plus-sized chest, but I’m really petite everywhere else. ” Some people don’t need a bra, I need ten! So they had to learn. ‘

Praising make-up artist Bryony Blake, she says: ‘She was the only one who knew how to deal with black tone, that each of us have different shades and pigmentation.

‘She understood it. She went on to teach others. We’re still working on the hair issue, but they’re learning. ‘

See the full article in You magazine

… but she’ll cry with joy when £ 3m rolls in

When she joined Strictly, she was paid £ 30,000 per series, with the chance of pocketing up to £ 50,000 if she waltzed her celebrity partner to victory.

Now Oti Mabuse is set to earn millions after quick-stepping into some of TV’s most coveted jobs.

Industry sources say she could earn £ 3 million from deals including £ 250,000 as a judge on ITV’s Dancing On Ice and up to £ 500,000 to present Romeo And Duet, its latest dating show.

As well as a 45-date sellout tour, she is likely to receive large sums from her children’s books, appearances on BBC1’s Morning Live, and presenting the Radio 4 show Dancing Legends.

Oti, who is being advised on her TV career by Holly Willoughby, also has a dance studio and will choreograph The Cher Show this year, a theater production about the US singer’s life.

‘Oti has been shrewd and she has had some wonderful help from Holly, who herself works across different TV networks and has projects outside that completely,’ said a source.

Friends believe Miss Mabuse will swap the semi-detached home in North-West London she shares with her dancer husband Marius Lepure for a bigger one.

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