Oti Mabuse: Strictly pro hits back at claims she is only on show because of box ticking

Strictly: Oti Mabuse discusses her future on the show

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Strictly Come Dancing champion Oti Mabuse has blasted critics who say she’s on certain television programmes in order to “tick boxes”. In a new interview, the 30-year-old dancer said instead of accepting that her skill got her the job, some people say it’s because she is a black woman.

“People like to throw it in your face,” she said of “box ticking” to The Mirror, during a candid chat.

Before telling the publication: “No. I am more than that.”

The two-time Strictly winner said: “In this country there is this thing called ‘box ticking’. People like to throw it in your face.

“They like to go: ‘You are ticking a box.

“‘You are just here because you are black, you are just here because you are African, you are just here because you are a black woman or you are just here because you are a gay black man’.”

Oti went on to explain that she can usually sense if she is being hired for “box ticking” reasons.

“Sometimes I will get a job or an opportunity and be like, I don’t want to be the shiny black girl in this situation. You go, ‘well it does not look like you had me [in mind]’.

“It feels like, oh we need a little bit of this, so let’s add a little bit of this and a little bit of shiny,” she added.

The professional dancer’s success on Strictly is undeniable.

She won the 2020 series with her celebrity partner Bill Bailey and is also the first pro to win the programme twice, and in two consecutive years.

The BBC star lifted the glitterball trophy the previous season with ex soap star Kelvin Fletcher.

Oti is set to return to the dance floor later this year to defend her title with a brand new partner.

Since joining the show in 2015, the South African dancer has gone on to star in a number of other television programmes.

She was a mentor on BBC’s The Greatest Dancer for two seasons, winning on both occasions with her chosen dance acts.

More recently Oti has appeared as a judge on ITV show The Masked Dancer.

As well as this, she makes regular appearances on breakfast Morning Live and Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4.

At the weekend, Oti got swept away with the UK’s biggest sporting events.

She headed to Wimbledon with her husband Marius Lepure to watch Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini in the men’s final.

The win secured the tennis pro his sixth Wimbledon win taking his grand slam total victories to 20, equalling Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s records.

She later tuned in to watch the England football team take on Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

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