Craig Revel Horwood says Oti Mabuse quitting Strictly is for the best
has admitted his joy at quitting her role as a professional dancer on Strictly during an appearance on Tuesday’s This Morning.
The TV judge, 57, said he thinks the native, 31, has made the ‘best move’ of her career, since she has become a ‘huge star in her own right’.
She had taken to Instagram only earlier in the day to confirm that she wouldn’t be returning to the One dance show after seven ‘amazing’ years.
Opinion: Craig Revel Horwood has admitted Oti Mabuse’s Strictly departure is ‘the best move she will ever make’…while revealing he’ll dedicate songs to his alcoholic father Philip in his new theatre tour
Showing support for his friend, Craig gushed: ‘This is brilliant news. She has become a huge star in her own right and there is only so long you can spend on one show.
‘I think it’s the best move she will ever make.She is brilliant but I will miss having a little dance with her. But I get to see her on the TV.’
He went on to plug his upcoming theatre tour, titled All Balls And Glitter, revealing his one-man performances will include songs about his alcoholic father, Philip.
The former drag artist said: ‘My new show is a bit like Desert Island Discs but with me singing.It is going to be so much fun, people will get to know a very different me. The first song in it I wrote when I was seven.
Supportive: The TV judge, 57, said he thinks the South Africa native, 31, has made the ‘best move’ of her career, since she has become a ‘huge star in her own right’ (pictured in 2019)
‘There are curve balls in the show too.I can express how I actually felt with an alcoholic father and how I coped.
‘Dance took me out of that world. I sang one of them at the funeral. It’s a chance for people who don’t know me to get to know me. It’s a real romp through my life.’
Philip, a former lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy, died in 2015 aged 74 after drinking a bottle of 70 per cent whiskey his neighbour gave him.
He passed away on December 21 with 400mg of alcohol per 100ml in his blood – more than five times the UK drink-drive limit.
Good pal: Showing support for his friend, Craig gushed: ‘This is brilliant news.She has become a huge star in her own right and there is only so long you can spend on one show’
Backing her: ‘I think it’s the best move she will ever make.She is brilliant but I will miss having a little dance with her. But I get to see her on the TV’
Speaking in his recent book In Strictest Confidence, Craig opened up about his father going on a booze-fuelled tirade with a shotgun.
He said: ‘My relationship with my dad wasn’t amazing.He battled with alcoholism all his life and he wasn’t a nice man when he was drunk.’
‘My parents had split up in 1989 after my father went on a drunken rampage with two loaded shotguns in the street in Australia where I was brought up.
‘The neighbours and my family had to hide under beds waiting for the police to come.Dad fired shots and nearly killed my brother-in-law, David.’
Candid: He went on to plug his upcoming theatre tour, titled All Balls And Glitter, revealing his one-man performances will include songs about his alcoholic father, Philip
Opening up: ‘There are curve balls in the show too.I can express how I actually felt with an alcoholic father and how I coped’
It comes after Oti said she wants to pursue other TV opportunities having established herself as a talent show judge with roles on ITV’s The Masked Dancer and the current series of Dancing On Ice.
She leaves Strictly after winning the Glitterball trophy in two consecutive years with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher, 37, and comedian Bill Bailey, 56.
Oti shared a selection of photographs highlighting her time on Strictly, with snaps of herself alongside her celebrity partners, and a group shot from the latest series.
She captioned the post: ‘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.
Tragic: Craig’s dad Philip (bottom left), a former lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy, died in 2015 aged 74 after drinking the home-made bourbon his neighbour gave him.Pictured, Craig – centre – with his family at an unknown 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 justice league xxx an axel braun parody I adore you all forever.Thank you @sarahjamesface @jack.will.g and @jasongilkison for truly believing in me
‘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.Here’s more information in regards to sister and brother xxx have a look at the web site. Thank You from the bottom of my heart.
‘I can’t put into words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series.
Devastating: Philip (left) died on December 21 2015 with 400mg of alcohol per 100ml in his blood – more than five times the UK drink-drive limit (pictured at an unknown time)
‘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! Lots of Love Oti big sexy women xxx.’
Shortly after her own announcement, Strictly Come Dancing paid tribute to Oti in a statement shared on their social media pages.
It read: ‘Oti has been a truly wonderful part of Strictly for the past seven years.
From BBC to ITV: Oti had taken to Instagram only earlier in the day to confirm that she wouldn’t be returning to the BBC One dance show after seven ‘amazing’ years
‘Her energy, creativity and talent have contributed to so many of the show’s most memorable moments and she will be hugely missed, not only by viewers, but the entire team.
‘She leaves a dazzling legacy behind her, as the only professional dancer to lift the Glitterball trophy in two consecutive years.
‘We couldn’t be prouder of Oti and what she has achieved.She will also be at the very heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future.’
Her confirmation comes after a TV source revealed to MailOnline earlier this week: ‘Oti has had a fantastic time on Strictly, she has achieved more than she could have ever dreamed of but now is the right time for her to explore new and exciting opportunities that have come her way.
‘We couldn’t be prouder!’ Strictly Come Dancing paid tribute to Oti in a statement shared on their social media pages
‘She will always be thankful to Strictly for giving her a platform in the UK and the memorable experiences that’s had over the years.
‘Now she is looking forward to working on new projects and following in her sister’s steps into judging.’
Strictly judge Motsi, 40, has been guiding younger sister Oti’s foray into judging and giving her tips.
She made her judging debut in 2019 alongside Cheryl Tweedy, 38, in BBC One series The Greatest Dancer but her switch to ITV show The Masked Dancer impressed bosses, eventually leading to her role of judge on Dancing On Ice.
Going out in style: During her final series in 2021 she starred with rugby ace Ugo Monye, 38, (pictured) finishing 11th in the Covid-hit season
The South African dancer was also recently revealed as the host of new ITV dating show Romeo & Duet, telling her Instagram followers last month: ‘My heart is just full with excitement and joy about this announcement.’
Oti is an eight-time South African Latin American Champion and first joined Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 when she was partnered with Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, 33, finishing in 14th place.
The following year she reached the final with Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac, 33, losing out to eventual winner Ore Oduba, 36.
In 2017, she was partnered with Paralympian Jonnie Peacock, 28, finishing in 8th place before performing with Graeme Swann, 42, for the show’s 2018 series, where she was knocked out in Week 8.
She became only the second professional dancer to win the show twice, lifting the Glitterball with Kelvin in 2019 mother and daughter xxx Bill in 2020.
During her final series in 2021 she starred with rugby ace Ugo Monye, 38, finishing 11th in the Covid-hit season.
In April last year, Oti hinted 2021 could be her final season on Strictly.
She said: ‘I love to dance and also I love bringing joy to so many people, but I think that [this year’s Strictly] 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.’