Oti Mabuse opens up on her regrets about Strictly partnership: ‘I wasn’t mature enough’

Strictly: Danny Mac and Oti dance the Samba in 2016

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Oti Mabuse, 30, has revealed she has some regrets about her Strictly Come Dancing stint with Danny Mac, 33, as she “wasn’t mature enough in her head” to train him in the best possible way. The dancer, who won Strictly for the second time last year with Bill Bailey, opened up about the situation during an appearance on her former co-star Kevin Clifton’s self-titled podcast this week.

Oti explained that when she was partnered with the Hollyoaks actor in 2016, she didn’t take the time to get to know him, as they were so focused on succeeding in the competition.

She shared: “I remember my year with Danny and I always say if there’s one thing I would change, I wish I had Danny today.

“To just redo everything, because he got me in a point where I wasn’t mature enough in my head to do what I needed to do with him.”

Oti went on to clarify that she wouldn’t want to change the result of their series together, during which they narrowly missed out on lifting the Glitterball trophy to Ore Oduba and Joanne Clifton in the final.

She added to Kevin: “Not change the result, but the journey.

“With Danny, we were at the top, so we needed to go, there’s no room for failure, we needed to go, go, go, and it was great.

“But I feel like I always say to him had I had met him now, I would have made him rest more.

“The fact that we stayed at 10 wouldn’t have been because we needed to prove something, it would have been simply because we wanted to be there and we just wanted to have a good time.


“So we didn’t stop to enjoy the jokes.”

Fortunately for Oti, despite her regrets, she now has a great friendship with Danny.

She continued: “Like, now, we’re best friends, but then we were so busy working, we didn’t even stop to get to know each other.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know who you are, but you’re gonna dance’ and I just wish I could redo that whole journey because mentally I’m in a different space to help him, as well, be Danny. I could have changed something, I don’t know.

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“He would have been such a different person, a different feeling of what he got out of strictly as well.”

Oti went on to win Strictly for the first time with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher in 2019, before her triumph with Bill in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Strictly favourite is taking on a new role this Saturday night, as she joins the judging panel of the ITV show The Masked Dancer. 

The series follows the same format as The Masked Singer as stars don costumes to perform on the show.

The judges will then have to work out who might be behind the mask from their dance moves.

Ahead of the series airing, Oti has explained she’s convinced there are some Strictly stars in the line-up.

Speaking about her guessing style, she admitted: “Coming from Strictly, I’m naming every single Strictly contestant ever…all the time.”

She continued: “I’ve got many names written down.

“I am that one who overwrites names but then I am also still guessing, watching every move, having a good time when I am writing and still noticing – oh they jumped! Oh, but the names!

“If I think it’s a Soccer player I will name every single player in the whole world and the producers are like ‘Oti, could you please stick to one or two’ but I can’t!”

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