Dancing on Ice judge Oti Mabuse has revealed she received racist abuse as a professional on Strictly Come Dancing.

The South African-born dancer, 31, won the BBC competition twice, triumphing alongside soap star Kelvin Fletcher in 2019, then winning a year later with comedian Bill Bailey.

Last season, she was paired with rugby player Ugo Monye.

Mabuse later replaced actor John Barrowman on ITV's Dancing on Ice judging panel.

Talking about her time on Strictly, Mabuse told the Radio Times: "I've faced some backlash while performing on the show.

Dancing her way to her second glitterball trophy with Bill Bailey in 2020

"I've never really spoken about it because I've tried for so long to think about it this way: I work on a show that 10 million people love; if 10 or 100 people aren't nice to me, that is not representative of everyone else's view.

"It's taken years for me to get that into my head.

"To get tweeted or receive a message in my inbox being racially abusive, or fat-shaming me, is horrible.

"But it's written by a person who can't even face themselves in the mirror."

Mabuse added that the hate she receives motivates her to "carry on" doing her job to show young girls that "anything is possible".

She added: "I have to fight, and be strong."

Oti Mabuse in her new role as a judge on Dancing on Ice

The TV star also hosts a BBC Radio 4 podcast about her dancing inspirations, speaking to some of the most renowned names in the field alongside some of her personal heroes.

The professional dancer said that her sister, Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse, is her inspiration after she became the first black woman to travel overseas and become a German dance champion.

Oti Mabuse's Dancing Legends is on Wednesdays on BBC Radio 4 and the whole series is on BBC Sounds.

Source: Press Association

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