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Professional dancer Oti Mabuse has announced she will not be returning to the ballroom for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, after seven years on the programme.

Oti Mabuse said: "I'm honestly do 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. I can't put into words how difficult this decision has been, but I have decided not to return for the next series...

"Dancing will always be my first love and to everyone, my family especially, friends, Strictly fans and judges who have been incredible! Your are irreplaceable in my heart and have made everyday unforgettable! I love you."

In a statement, the BBC said: "Oti has been truly wonderful part of Strictly for the past seven 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...

"We couldn't be prouder of Oti and what she has achieved. She will always be at the heart of our Strictly family and we wish her every success in her already bright future."

Oti is currently a judge on ITV's Dancing On Ice, and is due to host ITV's new dating series Romeo And Duet later this year.

Strictly returns later this year on BBC One.


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