Could @OtiMabuse become a judge on #StrictlyComeDancing?

Oti MabuseIn 2015, Oti was invited to join Strictly. (Image: GETTY)

If you believe the bookies, veteran Australian judge Helen Richey, the hugely respected but previously sacked Arlene Phillips and former Strictly dancers Brendan Cole, Karen Hardy and Anton Du Beke are all in with a shout.

As it happens, Anton was auditioned to fill Len Goodman’s shoes when he resigned three years ago. So was Brendan.

Neither got the gig.

Now, a late entrant into a crowded field, or so it is alleged, is the multi-talented Bonnie Langford with an impeccable set of credentials.

Related articles
Strictly Come Dancing: Oti Mabuse addresses 'curse'
Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Oti Mabuse reveals major show secret
Cheryl: Oti Mabuse says they 'haven't really kept in touch'

But there is one candidate standing head and shoulders above all the rest with starting odds of 5-4, according to bookmakers Paddy Power. And

the name of this tallest poppy?

Oti Mabuse.

The 28-year-old South African has established herself as a firm favourite with viewers as a professional dancer on the show and went on to cement her reputation as a Dance Captain on The Greatest Dancer, with her protege, Ellie Ferguson, 14, carrying off the top prize.

So could Oti really step up from the chorus to sit between Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas on the panel?

Oti Mabuse Strictly Come DancingWhatever happens, there’s no doubting that she’s come far and fast. (Image: GETTY)

Oti was asked by Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Wednesday about the possibility of her becoming a Strictly judge. Her reply?

“I would absolutely miss the dancing,” she said, which, as these things go, is some way short of an unequivocal denial.

Whatever happens, there’s no doubting that she’s come far and fast.

When she had finished her dance training in her native South Africa, Oti decided to move, aged 20, to Germany to join her elder sister, Motsi, who was already working there.

It was Motsi who put her together with a Romanian dancer called Marius Lepure, 36.

The partnership took off immediately, both professionally and personally. Oti and Marius married in 2012 and now live in north-west London.

In 2015, she was invited to join Strictly. How did it change her life? Only totally, says Oti.

“I was nervous as a kitten because it was my first time dancing without Motsi. I didn’t know anyone in the UK. And I quickly realised that Strictly was bigger, much bigger than I’d been told.”

Her first partner was boxer, Anthony Ogogo.

Related articles
Oti Mabuse: Strictly star opens up on starting a family
Oti Mabuse: Strictly star says husband DOESN’T want to do show
Neil Jones APOLOGISES to Strictly co-star in awkward video

We were eliminated after a week which was probably the best thing that could have happened. It gave me both a chance to settle in and the ambition to do better next time round

Oti Mabuse

“We were eliminated after a week which was probably the best thing that could have happened. It gave me both a chance to settle in and the ambition to do better next time round.”

The following year, she was partnered with former Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac.

They went all the way to the final, eventually won by Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton. “If it hadn’t been for Danny, a lot of people would never have got to know me.”

Next up was the “inspirational” paralympian Jonnie Peacock and last time round it was former cricketer Graeme Swann. She hoots with happy laughter.

“I love Graeme,” she says, with no prompting whatsoever.

“We had the best time. We laughed, we cried.”

Cried? Why? “Not him. Me. It’s a very intense experience getting someone to dance the way you want them to. But, in the end, he gave me my most enjoyable season so far.”

So does she believe in the Strictly Curse?

“When you see the that comes from Gorka and Gemma’s relationship, when you see Pasha with Rachel Riley, it’s hard to believe in any so-called curse. When two single

read more.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

NEXT Osama bin Laden son dead: al-Qaeda’s Hamza ‘killed’ after strike ‘takes him out’