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Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse signs contract to return to show next year

STRICTLY Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has signed a contract to return to the show next year.

The South Africa-born star, 40, who joined the series in 2019, has proved a hit with viewers.

It comes as bosses are struggling to decide on whether to keep former pro dancer Anton du Beke, 55, on the panel or welcome back Bruno Tonioli, 66.

He was forced to step down because of Covid travel restrictions between the UK and US.

Head judge Shirley Ballas, 61, and acid-tongued Aussie choreographer Craig Revel Horwood, 56, are also set to return.

A source said: “Motsi has been a brilliant addition and a hit with fans. She has an amazing dance knowledge and loads of energy. She always brings her A-game.”

Motsi was forced to miss a show last month after coming into close contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19.

She travels to the UK every week from Germany, where she lives with her husband and three-year-old daughter.

But she is also said to enjoy spending time with her younger sister, Strictly pro dancer Oti, 31.

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Anton was brought in as a judge on a temporary basis after Bruno stood down from the role when Covid restrictions meant he could not appear on both the UK show and its US version Dancing with the Stars.

He had previously flown between Los Angeles and England for the two programmes.

Meanwhile, ex-pro dancer Kristina Rihanoff, 44, who left in 2016, has given the Sun on Sunday her verdict on the judges.

She says Motsi has the ‘It factor’ and would shine on any show, while Shirley makes the panel credible with her knowledge.

Craig adds some edge to the judges and Anton is very constructive and fair, she reckons.

And she says of Bruno: “He was fabulous but has had his moment.”

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