Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse to join ITV's Dancing on Ice as a judge

OTI Mabuse is joining ITV’s Dancing on Ice as a judge, the Sun on Sunday can reveal.

The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer, 31, has landed the big TV gig after starring on the BBC prime-time show for six years.

She will replace John Barrowman, 54,  on the series after he was axed following allegations he exposed himself on the sets of BBC’s Doctor Who and spin-off show Torchwood.

South African-born Oti will sit on the expert judging panel alongside Olympic ice-skating greats Jayne Torvill, 64, and Christopher Dean, 63, and also Diversity’s Ashley Banjo, 33, when filming begins next month.

Bosses are also considering welcoming guest judges, including former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips, 78, on the panel later in the series.

A TV source said: “Signing up Oti is a brilliant coup for ITV bosses. They’re really excited about her joining the show.

“She has excellent dance experience and technical knowledge,  an infectious on-screen energy and has a massive fanbase from her time on Strictly, which helps draw viewers.

“It’s also a great move for Oti’s career and the obvious next step for her.”

Our source said Oti has adored her time on Strictly, but knows this is a great opportunity.

They said: “She’s not cutting ties with the Beeb altogether and is open to more future projects.

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“But she’s looking forward to having a well-earned break over Christmas so she can get stuck into Dancing on Ice next month.”

Oti has won the Glitterball trophy twice  — with comedian Bill Bailey, 56, last year and actor Kelvin Fletcher, 37, in 2019.

But she left earlier than hoped this year while paired with sports pundit Ugo Monye, 38.

Her future on Strictly will not be known until February, when the show’s contract negotiations are due to take place — but it is possible she may not return next year.

She has proven her worth as a TV judge on former BBC show The Greatest Dancer and, more recently, on ITV’s The Masked Dancer, which she will return to next year.  

Her older sister Motsi, 40, is a judge on Strictly and has signed a contract to star on the show again next year.

Oti, who is married to Romanian dancer Marius Iepure, 39, will continue to work on BBC projects, including her Radio 4 and BBC Sounds podcast Dancing Legends.

Speaking in April, Oti cast doubt on her future on Strictly admitting: “I love to dance. But I think that will be the last one.

"To be part of a show like Strictly, which is so diverse in every sense of the word, is incredible. But honestly, as a woman, I can’t be dancing forever.”

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