15 February 2020 00:34

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Oti Mabuse: ‘I’m always in bits’ Strictly pro makes admission amid Kelvin Fletcher drama

The reigning queen of Saturday night television, she has shimmied seamlessly from Strictly Come Dancing – which she won in December as the professional partner of Kelvin "snake-hips" Fletcher – to reprise her "captain" role in the second series of The Greatest Dancer. To the show, in which dancers of every age and style compete for a £50,000 prize, Mabuse brings the kind of warmth and energy that appeals to viewers and galvanises contestants: one of her acts, 14-year-old Ellie Fergusson, triumphed in the first series. Although Mabuse showed an early flair for dance while growing up in Pretoria – she was crowned South African Latin American Champion eight times – her "highly academic" teacher mother (her father's a magistrate) insisted she complete a degree, in order to have a qualification to fall back on. But I don't think I'm going to go back to engineering now." Certainly, there's a sense that the BBC is moulding Mabuse into its next reality break-out star, in the vein of former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. Kelvin'd be like, 'Are you not talking to me?' and I'd say, 'No!'" Just weeks previously, Mabuse – who joined Strictly in 2015, and reached the 2016 final with Danny Mac – had feared she wouldn't be competing at all, after her initial partner, Made in Chelsea's Jamie Laing, withdrew with a foot injury.

Mabuse moved to London where she has found success, first on Strictly with Kelvin Fletcher and then as a 'captain' on The Greatest Dancer with Matthew Morrison, Cheryl and Todrick Hall Credit: Andrew Crowley "I wasn't so much upset about losing that partner," she says, "but losing the one thing I love so much – dancing." Within a week, producers had signed up super-sub Fletcher. Let's dance.'" The pair topped the leaderboard from week one with their astonishing samba, yet they were never complacent, as other talented dancers, such as DJ Dev Griffin, were booted from the show early. "We weren't not speaking, there was just no time for one-to-ones," says Mabuse. Mabuse with Strictly partner Kelvin Fletcher Credit: Guy Levy/BBC "Oh gosh," she says, "I was just standing there expecting either 'Well done' or 'Here's how you can improve', so I did not know how to react!" So steamy was the dance that social media was soon ablaze with rumours that the notorious relationship-breaking "Curse of Strictly" had struck again, gossip that was refuelled last week when it was reported that the pair had been spotted "gallivanting" in a London bar until 3am, after which Fletcher's wife unfollowed him on Instagram. "There's nothing there, it was acting through dance," Mabuse says firmly.

He is German-Romanian Marius Iepure, 37, whom she married six years ago, having met him when, aged 19, she travelled to Germany (where dancers earn good salaries from competing for clubs or provinces) to "scout" for a future dance partner. "We became a couple not long after that." Having collected a host of trophies together and alone completed two seasons of Let's Dance, the Teutonic Strictly, Mabuse was headhunted for the British version, where she was so warmly welcomed she decided to move to London for good. Mabuse is a mentor on The Greatest Dancer Credit: Tom Dymond Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse, 29, hit the headlines last weekend when she was pictured at a hotel in London with her former dance partner Kelvin Fletcher, 36. I'm always in bits Oti Mabuse Oti has remained tight-lipped about her night out with Kelvin, despite claim his wife Liz "felt like a fool" after seeing pictures of the pair together. Instead, the professional dancer has been focusing her attention on The Greatest Dancer, where she is a coach alongside Cheryl, Todrick Hall and Matthew Morrison.

Oti Mabuse: Strictly pro spoke out about the downside to her judging role amid Kelvin Fletcher drama Oti Mabuse has said critiquing on The Greatest Dancer has left her 'in bits' Kelvin Fletcher gushed over his wife Liz on Valentine's Day READ MORE Kelvin Fletcher in loved-up snap with wife as Oti Mabuse stays quiet "I never want to be the judge who says, 'you're not good enough' but, I will have to learn because eventually I will have to do it." When quizzed about disappointing some of the contestants on the show, she added: "That is the hardest part. I'm always in bits." Ahead of her the return of the BBC show, she won Strictly Come Dancing with Kelvin last year. Despite winning the show for the first time, she wasn't a part of the recently ended Strictly Come Dancing tour due to her commitments with The Greatest Dancer. Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher were pictured at a hotel together last weekend Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher won Strictly Come Dancing in 2019 Instead, Kelvin danced with professional dancer Janette Manrara. The pair's outing last weekend is said to be an innocent catch-up between the pair, with a source telling The Daily Star: "It was perfectly innocent… they wanted to have a few more drinks and the bar was still serving.

They are just friends." After their night out, Kelvin's wife Liz was pictured without her wedding ring on after reportedly unfollowing him on social media. A source also told The Mirror, she "felt like a fool" after seeing the pictures. They said: "She was not worried about anything going on between them it was the fact that she was at home doing all the motherly things and here he was out gallivanting. "She has been at home looking after the kids while he has been away on tour having a good time." The source went on to say that Liz unfollowed Kelvin on Instagram but admitted to "feeling a bit silly" about doing that now. She has since addressed the reports on her Instagram page, writing: "That ring is heavy, it only comes out on special occasions.

It's a Strictly Come Dancing reunion on The Greatest Dancer (Picture: BBC) The Greatest Dancer has teased a Strictly Come Dancing reunion for stars Oti Mabuse (who is featured as a coach on the programme) and fellow dance pro Pasha Kovalev. And it seems that those who dance on Strictly together stay together as Pasha was helping Latin duo Michael and Jowita ahead of the next live show. A source revealed: 'Pasha loved performing on The Greatest Dancer last year and jumped at the chance to join a training session with Michael and Jowita.' The behind-the-scenes snaps see Oti and Pasha team up to teach a dance in rehearsals. Pasha brought some Strictly magic to rehearsals (Picture: BBC) Oti and Pasha were showing Michael and Jowita how it's done (Picture: BBC) The Queens had also left the studio audience quite confused with their afternoon tea themed dance to The Darkness' I Believe In A Thing Called Love, which received the lowest score of the night at 48.4%. If you've got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you. Kelvin Fletcher has shared a loved up selfie with his wife Eliza Marsland after being pictured entering a hotel with Oti Mabuse at 3am. The 36 year old took to Instagram to publicly wish his wife a happy Valentine's Day in a post to his 361,000 followers. (Image: Instagram/Kelvin Fletcher) His followers flocked to the comments section of the post to urge the pair to stay strong through speculation surrounding Kelvin's relationship with Oti, who he won Strictly Come Dancing with last year. Strictly professionals Graziano di Prima and Janette Manrara both sent their affections in the form of love heart emojis, while Kelvin's fellow soap star Charley Webb teased him: "Absolutely punching you." On Tuesday, Liz spoke out after being pictured without her wedding ring, saying she wasn't wearing the jewellery because it's only worn on special occasions. Oh and it was fake tan day," Liz added, alongside the hashtag #nodramahere. The actress is said to have "felt like a fool" after Kelvin was snapped on a "boozy" night out with his Strictly co-stars over the weekend. A source told The Mirror: "She was not worried about anything going on between them it was the fact that she was at home doing all the motherly things and here he was out gallivanting. "It all got a bit too much when she saw the pictures. She has been at home looking after the kids while he has been away on tour having a good time. During an appearance on Lorraine on Friday, former Strictly dancer Brendan Cole spoke frankly about the show's dreaded curse, and warned that contestants and professional dancers alike should "be careful". His comments came after host Lorraine asked whether the chemistry between dancer and contestant can ever go too far, a question that many have pondered in the wake of the Oti Mabuse and Kelvin Fletcher drama. WATCH: Brendan Cole spoke frankly about the Strictly curse during an appearance on Lorraine The thing about Strictly [is] you're in a relationship with your dancer of sorts, some of the relationships we don't know. Take lovely Oti and Kelvin, they've been pictured going to a hotel after partying with the crew, these things ruin lives, he has a wife and kids. MORE: Strictly Come Dancing pros and their adorable babies – from Pasha Kovalev to Gorka Marquez Emmerdale actor Kelvin raised eyebrows after he was photographed on a night out with professional dancer Oti at the Sanctum Soho Hotel last weekend. Shortly after the photos emerged, Kelvin's wife Liz unfollowed him on Instagram, and was spotted without her wedding ring. However, on Tuesday, Liz set the record straight by telling her Instagram followers: "That ring is heavy. Earlier on in the day, the couple – who have been married for five years - were pictured in a warm embrace as Liz kissed Kelvin goodbye at a train station, proving that there was no bad blood between the pair.