Strictly Come Dancing: Oti Mabuse to RETURN as 2020 pros are confirmed

Strictly Come Dancing: Oti Mabuse to RETURN for new series after being crowned champion… as the 2020 pros are confirmed after Kevin Clifton’s exit

  • On Thursday the professional lineup was confirmed ahead of the new series of Strictly Come Dancing later this year
  • Oti Mabuse’s return comes after she was crowned series champion with Kelvin Fletcher last year
  • Anton Du Beke, who has appeared on the show since its first series, will also return
  • It comes after Kevin Clifton announcing he would be quitting Strictly after seven years on the dancefloor 

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 will see the return of reigning champion pro Oti Mabuse, as the professional lineup was finally confirmed on Thursday.

Following the news that Kevin Clifton had quit after seven years in the ballroom, names including AJ Pritchard, Neil Jones and Karen Hauer will return for the new series later this year.

It comes following speculation over whether any of the pros would be heading back to the dancefloor for the the new series, after last year saw Oti crowned champion with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher. 

She’s back! Strictly Come Dancing 2020 will see the return of reigning champion pro Oti Mabuse, as the professional lineup was finally confirmed on Thursday

Oti’s return to Strictly had been up in the air for several weeks after she was crowned winner alongside Kelvin, as she continued to win over fans as a star of The Greatest Dancer.

It had also been reported that bosses were worried Oti may quit the show after speculation around her 3am nightcap with Kelvin last month.

But it’s now clear that Oti will be back in the ballroom when the new series kicks off in the autumn.

Suave: Veteran pro Anton Du Beke will be back in the ballroom for his 18th series on the show, after finally earning a ten last year for his American Smooth with Emma Barton

Gorgeous: Katya Jones will also be returning to the dancefloor, two years after her controversial kiss with comedian Seann Walsh

Legendary: Giovanni Pernice will also be back in the ballroom, after his recent split from 2018 contestant Ashley Roberts

This year the pro lineup will include British dancer AJ, former winner Aljaž Škorjanec, and veteran Anton Du Beke.

Last year Anton – who is the only pro to appear in every series – finally achieved earned a ten from the judges for his American smooth with EastEnders’ Emma Barton.

He will be joined by Dianne Buswell, who is dating her 2018 celebrity partner Joe Sugg, and Giovanni Pernice.

Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Who are the pros? 

AJ PRITCHARD

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partners include: Claudia Fragapane, Mollie King, Lauren Steadman and Saffron Barker

Best result: 4th Place with Claudia Fragapane in 2016  

ALJAŽ ŠKORJANEC

Joined the show: Series 11 (2013)

Celebrity Partners include: Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, and Viscountess Emma Weymouth

Best Result: Won with Abbey Clancy in 2013  

AMY DOWDEN

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Brian Conley, Danny John-Jules and Karim Zeroual

Best Result: 2nd Place with Karim Zeroual in 2019 

ANTON DU BEKE

Joined the show: Series 1 (2004)

Celebrity Partners include: Ann Widdecombe, Nancy Dell’Olio, Judy Murray and Ruth Langsford

Best result: 2nd Place with Emma Barton in 2019 

DIANNE BUSWELL

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Rev Richard Coles, Joe Sugg and Dev Griffin

Best Result: 2nd Place with Joe Sugg in 2018 

GIOVANNI PERNICE

Joined the show: Series 13 (2015)

Celebrity Partners: Georgia May Foote, Laura Whitmore Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage

Best Results: 2nd Place with Georgia May Foote (2015), Debbie McGee (2017) and Faye Tozer (2018) 

GORKA MARQUEZ 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partners: Tameka Empson, Alexandra Burke and Katie Piper

Best Result: 2nd Place With Alexandra Burke in 2017  

GRAZIANO DI PRIMA  

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partners: Vick Hope

Best Result: 12th Place with Vick Hope in 2018 

JANETTE MANRARA

Joined the show: Series 11 (2013) 

Celebrity Partners Include: Jake Wood, Peter Andre and Aston Merrygold

Best Result: 5th Place with Jake Wood in 2014

JOHANNES RADEBE 

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partners: Catherine Tyldesley

Best Result: 11th Place with Catherine Tyldesley in 2019 

KAREN HAUER

Joined the show: Series 10 (2012)

Celebrity Partners: Nicky Byrne, Mark Wright, Simon Rimmer, Charles Venn and Chris Ramsey

Best Results: 4th Place with Mark Wright in 2014, and Chris Ramsey in 2019. 

KATYA JONES 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partners include: Ed Balls, Seann Walsh, Mike Bushell

Best Result: Won with Joe McFadden in 2017 

LUBA MUSHTUK

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partner: James Cracknell

Best Result: 15th Place with James Cracknell in 2019 

NADIYA BYCHKOVA

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan and David James

Best Result: 6th Place with Davood Ghadami in 2017 

NANCY XU 

Joined the show: Series 17 (2019)

Celebrity Partner: TBC

Best Result: TBC 

NEIL JONES 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partner: Alex Scott

Best Result: 5th Place with Alex Scott in 2019 

OTI MABUSE 

Joined the show: Series 13 (2015)

Celebrity Partners: Danny Mac, Anthony Ogogo, Graeme Swann and Jonnie Peacock

Best Result: Won with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 

 

Dancing star: British pro AJ Pritchard will also be back on the dancefloor after being paired with Saffron Barker last year

Beautiful: Welsh beauty Amy Dowden reached the final last year with Karim Zeroual, and will once again be back in the ballroom

Sensational: After her ex-husband Kevin Clifton announced he had quit the show, Karen Hauer will be back for the new series

Pocket rocket: Janette Manrara will join her husband Aljaž on the dancefloor for the new series, which will begin later this year

Giovanni dated 2018 contestant Ashley Roberts for a year before splitting, and last year was partnered with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage. 

Gorka Marquez and Graziano Di Prima will also return, after being demoted last series meaning they did not get paired with celebrities.

Janette Manrara will join husband Aljaž on the dancefloor, as will Johannes Radebe, who delighted fans last year when he was partnered with Coronation Street Catherine Tyldesley.

Given Katya was married to pro Neil at the time, and Seann was also in a relationship, the kiss sparked a huge reaction, though they remained in the competition for several weeks before being eliminated.

Beloved: Neil Jones finally landed his first celebrity partner last year after much campaigning from fans, and will once again be back for the new series

Superstar: Johannes Radebe will be returning for the new series after being partnered with Catherine Tyldesley last year

Vixen: Dianne Buswell, who is dating her 2018 celebrity partner Joe Sugg will also be back on the dancefloor

Katya split from husband Neil last year after six years of marriage, but pair have continued to dance together on Strictly.

Last year British dancer Neil finally landed a celebrity partner after years of campaigning from fans, and wowed in his pairing with footballer Alex Scott, despite having to miss several live shows due to a foot injury.

Luba Mushtuk will also be back for the new series, as will Nadiya Bychkova, Nancy Xu, who joined the professional lineup last year. 

Sensational: Aljaž Škorjanec will be heading back to the Strictly dancefloor this autumn for the new series


Dynamic duo: Gorka Marquez (left) and Graziano Di Prima will also be back for the new series

Stunning: Nadiya Bychkova is set to dazzle viewers once again when she heads back to the Strictly dancefloor


A vision: Rounding out the professional lineup are Nancy Xu (left) and Luba Mushtuk (right) as the professional lineup was finally confirmed

Sarah James, Executive Producer, BBC Studios, said: ‘It’s wonderful to welcome back so many talented individuals within this year’s line-up of Strictly Come Dancing professional dancers. 

‘They are each at the top of their game and as a cast are simply incredible. We can’t wait to see what magic they will bring to the ballroom this year. 

‘Strictly 2020 promises to be an unforgettable series, with more exceptional choreography and world-class dancing.’

Kate Phillips, Controller of BBC Entertainment, said: ‘We are very proud of Strictly Come Dancing and our professional dancers. 

‘They are undoubtedly in a class of their own and they’ll be back in force this autumn to put our class of 2020 through their paces, providing another series of unmissable TV!’

‘I want to leave on a high’: The news comes just days after Kevin Clifton confirmed he had quit Strictly after seven years on the show (pictured with now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley in 2018)

The news comes just days after Kevin confirmed that he had quit Strictly after seven years on the show, and just a year after he won the Glitterball with now-girlfriend Stacey Dooley.

He wrote: ‘To the entire Strictly family. The past 7 years have been some of the most wonderful years of my life.

‘I am grateful to the BBC and Strictly Come Dancing for giving me the opportunity to have been a part of something truly special.

‘Since first being called “Kevin From Grimsby” by Sir Bruce Forsyth in 2013 I have experienced the highs of 5 finals, winning a Guinness World record on It Takes Two, the Strictly Arena tour Glitterball and then the ultimate of winning the 2018 series with Stacey Dooley. 

‘After finishing last series with the Children In Need trophy and the Christmas Special I want to leave on a high and have therefore decided the time has come to move on and focus on other areas of my life and career.’ 

What a blow! Kevin’s exit came as a shock to his legion of fans as he is a very popular member of the Strictly family 

He continued: ‘I want to thank all of the pros for inspiring me every day as well as all of my celebrity partners. The whole team behind the scenes have made always made the Strictly family what it is and the loveliest show to work for.

‘Thank you to anyone who has ever voted for me and my partners. It means the world. And a special thank you to Jason Gilkison for always believing in me.

‘To me Strictly always has been and always will be the best show on TV and has been an absolute dream and honour to be a part of.

‘Pre 2013 I used to watch every week. Now I look forward to returning to being a fan and cheering on my friends who keep dancing. Kevin Clifton.’

Strictly Come Dancing 2020 will air on BBC One later this year. 

Tribute: A spokesperson for Strictly Come Dancing wrote on Instagram last week: ‘Kevin has been such a brilliant part of Strictly for the past seven years’

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