Strictly Come Dancing newcomer Motsi Mabuse has broken her silence over the rumours that there's tension between her and professional dancer Anton du Beke. It was widely reported that the pro – who has appeared on the BBC show since the first series – was tipped to replace Darcey Bussell on the judging panel, which went to Motsi. During an interview with Lorraine Kelly on Friday, the new judge, 38, insisted there are no hard feelings between the pair.
Motsi Mabuse is the new Strictly judge
"It's been fine because I honestly, like I say, they know what they are doing," she explained. "They made their choices. I know Anton for quite a while. I met him and he's such a gentleman. I don't think it's anything personal at all, everyone gets to shine in their different ways." This year, Anton has been partnered up with EastEnders actress Emma Barton.
Of her fellow judges and joining the panel, Motsi said: "I knew Shirley [Ballas] as soon as I came to Europe, almost 20 years. She's a very successful woman in our dance world. The boys I kind of met here, we connected. They were really, really nice. Everybody was very, very supportive." She added: "You come into a new space and first you have to open up and see how everyone is. You go quietly… but the time will come."
Anton du Beke has appeared on Strictly since the first series
Motsi was then asked about judging her own sister, professional Oti Mabuse, on the show. "I'm going to judge her like any other dancer," she replied. "Oti has done so well here, I'm so proud of her. Me being extra hard, or me giving her extra points would be disrespectful to what she’s achieved. And I never want to do that and of course everybody else, this show is not about me and Oti, it's about everybody else and it’s about being fair to everyone."
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The judge added: "I wouldn't want to jeopardise a beautiful show and go there do all this negative stuff. I'm just happy to be part of the family and I'm happy that I see my family more often. I never see Oti, she was always here. Now I see her quite often! It's great because it's got a family feeling with it."
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