Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has said being on the judging panel gives her an opportunity to discover “new personalities” and that it feels like a “great cast this year”.
The South African born dancer, who now lives in Germany, joined the judging panel of the dancing show in 2019, replacing Dame Darcey Bussell.
The new series of the BBC programme launched last Saturday with the 15 celebrity contestants being paired up with their professional partners.
The launch was watched by an average of seven million viewers, according to overnight ratings, a drop in viewing figures from 2020’s opener which was watched by an average of 8.6 million.
When asked her thoughts on this year’s contestants, Mabuse, 40, said: “I knew of Adam Peaty because I loved his performance at the Olympics.
“I also know of Judi Love because I’m such a huge fan.
“It’s always quite exciting for me on this show as I’m always discovering new personalities as someone who is from Germany.
“They’re just a great cast this year.”
On the judging panel, Mabuse will sit alongside long-term judge Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and former professional partner Anton Du Beke.
Du Beke is replacing Bruno Tonioli this series, who was unable to take part due to travel uncertainty caused by the pandemic because he lives in the US and is a judge on American series Dancing With The Stars at the same time.
Discussing the panel’s new addition, Mabuse added: “I think he’ll just bring so much to the panel because everybody knows he’s just a big part of the history of the show and he’ll just be the cherry on top.”
Her younger sister, Oti, is a professional dancer on the show and has won the series for two consecutive years.
She will be hoping to make it a triple win this year alongside rugby player Ugo Monye.
When asked about the importance of entertainment shows like Strictly since the pandemic, Mabuse added: “I feel that whilst we have to learn to live with the virus, we also must remember to not forget to take care of ourselves and to enjoy the good times in our lives when we can.”
Strictly Come Dancing continues on Saturday at 7.00pm on BBC One and iPlayer.