Oti Mabuse has announced that she is leaving Strictly Come Dancing, after starring on the BBC One show for the last seven years.
The professional dancer, 31, took to Instagram to reveal the sad news, explaining that she had made the "difficult decision" to quit and start a new chapter.
Oti has had a successful stint on Strictly, having lifted the Glitterball trophy on two occasions, with actor Kevin Fletcher and comedian Bill Bailey.
Oti joins a whole host of professional dancers who have left Strictly Come Dancing over the years, including the likes of AJ Pritchard and Kevin Clifton. Here we take a look at where some of the former Strictly pros are now…
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Janette Manrara quit Strictly Come Dancing last year, and took up co-hosting duties over on the spin-off show, Strictly: It Takes Two, instead.
The 38-year-old professional dancer announced her decision in June 2021, saying: “One of my favourite parts of doing Strictly has always been to sit down on that couch and just chat away. It’s the most fun.
“I was thinking, ‘This is the coolest job ever. You get to sit down, talk about dancing, make people feel good and celebrate their successes on the show… One day I would love to do that’, and it’s here, here we are!”
Janette joined the BBC One show back in 2013, and her final celebrity partner was singer HRVY, with the duo coming in second place in 2020.
Kevin Clifton joined Strictly in 2013, and over the years he was partnered with stars including Susanna Reid, Frankie Bridge, and Louise Redknapp.
He came in second place for four years consecutively, before finally lifting the Glitterball trophy in 2018 alongside Stacey Dooley – his now-girlfriend.
The Strictly pro quit the BBC One show in 2019, after competing in that year's series alongside Anneka Rice.
Kevin said he wanted ‘to move on and focus on other areas of his life and career’ at the time.
While he hoped to carve out a career on stage, his dreams were put on standby when the pandemic struck in 2020.
Kevin previously said on his podcast: “I think if I’ve learned anything it’s you never close the door. You just don’t know how things are going to go.
“I thought I was going to be on stage all year and all of a sudden that’s not happening any more.”
AJ Pritchard joined Strictly back in 2016, and continued to wow viewers with his dancing skills throughout his time on the show.
In March 2020, the 27 year old shocked fans when he revealed he would be leaving the BBC One show in order to pursue a career in presenting.
AJ also explained how the long days in the studio had began to take their toll, and he told The Sun: “It took up six months of my life, some days I would work 18-hour days because I was dancing and choreographing.
“I didn’t have a life and I wanted to be able to do more.”
He went on to take part in I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!, and he made his acting debut in Hollyoaks in 2021.
Ola and James Jordan
Ola and James Jordan joined the BBC One dance show in 2006, and both became fan favourites during their time on Strictly.
Ola, 39, danced alongside celebrities such as Sid Owen, Robbie Savage and Paul Daniels over the years, and won the seventh series alongside Chris Hollins.
In 2015, she announced she was quitting the show shortly after she and Iwan Thomas became the first couple to be eliminated.
James, 43, starred on the show up until 2014, when he announced his shock departure from Strictly online.
The BBC said in a statement at the time: “James Jordan was offered a role still on [Strictly Come Dancing].
“It wasn’t to be partnered with a celebrity, but it was to be involved in specials such as Children in Need, that sort of thing. But he declined that. He was offered a reduced role on the show.”
James was left less than impressed by the statement, and tweeted in response: “WELL TWEEPS. Yes it’s true I WILL NOT be returning to ‘BURN THE FLOOR’…. Sorry, I mean ‘Strictly Come Dancing’… However….
“…do not believe everything the BBC have written in their statement.”
He has since gone on to appear on several TV shows, including Celebrity Big Brother and Celebrity Coach Trip. James won Dancing on Ice in 2019 alongside professional skater Alexandra Schauman.
Brendan Cole appeared in 15 series of Strictly, and he won the very first season alongside TV presenter Natasha Kaplinsky.
Throughout the years Brendan danced with celebrities including Jo Wood, Kelly Brook, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
In January 2018, he revealed that his contract with the BBC One show had not been renewed in an interview on Lorraine.
Brendan was equally as shocked as his fans at the time, and said: “I’m a little bit in shock at the moment. I’m quite emotional and a bit raw about it. I am very disappointed. It’s an editorial decision. I will never know the ins and outs.”
In 2022, he signed up for ITV's Dancing on Ice, and is currently competing alongside professional skater Vanessa Bauer.
Professional dancer Karen, 51, first appeared on Strictly in 2005, and she enjoyed a four-year long stint on the BBC One show.
She told how she'd fallen "out of love" with the show after taking part in the 2008 series, and left to pursue other opportunities.
Karen has gone on to become a regular guest on Strictly spin-off show It Takes Two, and she also runs her own dance studio in Canary Wharf, London, which reportedly boasts a £30,000 dance floor.
Camilla Dallerup, 47, took part in the first six series of Strictly Come Dancing, and won the show in 2008 alongside soap star Tom Chambers.
The professional dancer then revealed that she would not be competing in the 2009 series, and went on to become a judge on BBC Two show Skate Nation.
Camilla took part in I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in November 2009, and in 2018 she revealed she would be taking on the role of head judge on the New Zealand version of Dancing With The Stars.
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Flavia Cacace was one of the original professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing back when it first launched in 2003.
She became a firm favourite among viewers during her time on the show, and her professional ballroom partner Vincent Simone also joined Strictly in 2006.
After 10 years on the show, Flavia revealed she was quitting in 2013 in order to focus on other projects. Vincent also quit at the same time.
Speaking at the time, Flavia said: “Aside from hopefully performing on Strictly, we have lots of new projects ahead which we are very much looking forward to working on.”
Kristina, 44, performed in eight series of Strictly Come Dancing, before announcing her departure from the hit show in 2016.
The Russian-born star has since gone on to take part in Celebrity Big Brother, and appear in Netflix show Baby Ballroom.
Kristina also penned her own book, The Art of Dancesport Makeup, and she runs her own dance academy, Bespoke Ballroom, located in Northampton.
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