Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse speaks out about racist abuse and fat-shaming

Oti Mabuse has spoken out about the racist abuse she suffered. Credit: PA

Dancing On Ice judge Oti Mabuse has spoken out about the racist abuse she was subjected to as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing.

The South African-born dancer, 31, won the BBC competition twice, first alongside soap star Kelvin Fletcher in 2019, then winning a year later with comedian Bill Bailey.

Talking about her time on Strictly, Mabuse told the Radio Times she "faced some backlash" and received abusive messages.

“I’ve never really spoken about it because I’ve tried for so long to think about it this way: I work on a show that 10 million people love; if 10 or 100 people aren’t nice to me, that is not representative of everyone else’s view," she said.

2019 winner, former Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher and his dance partner Oti Mabuse. Credit: BBC

“It’s taken years for me to get that into my head.

“To get tweeted or receive a message in my inbox being racially abusive, or fat-shaming me, is horrible.

“But it’s written by a person who can’t even face themselves in the mirror.”

Mabuse added that the hate she receives motivates her to “carry on” doing her job to show young girls that “anything is possible.”

She added: “I have to fight, and be strong.”

During the last Strictly season Mabuse was paired with rugby player Ugo Monye and later replaced actor John Barrowman on ITV’s Dancing On Ice judging panel.

The TV star also hosts a Radio 4 podcast about her dancing inspirations, speaking to some of the most renowned names in the field alongside some of her personal heroes.

The professional dancer said that her sister, Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse, is her inspiration after she became the first black woman to travel overseas and become a German dance champion.

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