Strictly Come Dancing: Motsi Mabuse is announced as the new judge

22 July 2019, 16:17 | Updated: 22 July 2019, 16:40

Strictly judges
Picture: BBC

By Tom Eames

Darcey Bussell's replacement on the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel has been announced, and they're keeping it in the family.

Motsi Mabuse - sister of Strictly professional Oti Mabuse - has been confirmed as they new judge alongside expected returnees Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel-Horwood and Shirley Ballas.

The South African-born former German Latin Champion and South African Champion is already a judge on Let’s Dance (the German version of Strictly).

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Originally from South Africa, Motsi is also a former South African Champion and German Latin Champion in 2009 and 2010.

Motsi Mabuse
Motsi Mabuse. Picture: BBC

Motsi was originally expected to become a lawyer and join her family's law firm, but her love for dance eventually took over whilst she was studying at the University of Pretoria.

She said: “I am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel. I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show. I can’t wait to get started!”

Who is Motsi Mabuse?

Aged 38, Motsi was born in Mankwe in 1981 in what was then the nominal Republic of Bophutatswana. Her birthplace later became part of South Africa, and her family moved to Pretoria when she was aged five.

While living in Pretoria, her younger sister Oti was born, and they soon took an interest in dancing.

In 1999, she met her dance and romantic partner, Timo Kulczak, at the British Open Championships in Blackpool. They married in 2003, and they later competed in international dance competitions from their home in Germany.

She joined Let's Dance in Germany in 2011 as a judge, taking over from Isabel Edvardsson.

In 2014, her marriage to Kulczak ended, and a year later she married her Ukrainian dance partner Evgenij Voznyuk, becoming Motsi Mabuse-Voznyuk.

Strictly Come Dancing returns for its 17th series this autumn.