Oti Mabuse thrills fans with Strictly Come Dancing return months after exit

We all miss you, Oti! (Picture: BBC/Guy Levy)

Oti Mabuse has returned to help her Strictly Come Dancing pros choreograph ahead of the new series, just months after waving goodbye to the BBC One series.

The South African dancer, 32, had been a huge fan favourite since joining in 2015, going on to win the show twice in 2019 and 2020. 

However, after her stint in the 2021 series, alongside rugby star Ugo Monye, she revealed she would be hanging up her dancing shoes and quitting the hit show.

She’s since appeared as a panellist on ITV’s Dancing On Ice and The Masked Dancer, but thrilled fans yesterday by reuniting with her former Strictly co-stars.

Amy Dowden, who recently tied the knot, shared a sweet snap alongside Oti and fellow pro, Nancy Xu.

She captioned the image: ‘Our queen back,’ before confirming to fans that Oti was unfortunately back just ‘for one day.’

Oti posed with Amy and Nancy (Picture: Instagram/@amydowden)

Oti wrote on her own Instagram stories: ‘Working with the gang today. So much fun!’

Neil Jones also shared a clip of the dancer having fun behind the scenes, showing Oti helping out Karen Hauer with a routine, with the caption: ‘Look who’s back.’

Amy teased Oti for stealing her top while they rehearsed (Picture: Instagram/@amy_dowden)
She lifted the Glitterball twice, with Bill Bailey (R) and Kelvin Fletcher (Picture: PA)

The dancer also posed with newlyweds Graziano Di Prima and Giada Lini, who wed in a gorgeous Italian ceremony earlier this summer.

Fans were gutted to see Oti announce her exit from Strictly after seven amazing years and two Glitterball trophies. 

Oti posed with Graziano and his wife Giadi (PIcture: Instagram/@otimabuse)

However, she did make a hint she could return in the future, suggesting she was ‘not done’ with Strictly.

She shared: ‘Strictly has been everything to me and has given me this amazing platform that I have.’

Speaking to WalesOnline, she added: ‘No, I’m not done. It still has a place in my heart.’

At the time of confirming her decision to leave the show, the star shared a selection of highlight images from her time in the competition, and she wrote on her Instagram account that it’s ‘Never easy to say goodbye’ and that lifting the Glitterball was the ‘best journey’.

She added: ‘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. – Thank You from the bottom of my heart.’

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year to BBC One.

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