Oti Mabuse captured the nation’s hearts when she won back to back seasons of Strictly in December last year, and she’s set to fill our screens again this year as she joins the panel of ITV’s new The Masked Dancer on Saturday (May 29).
But the professional dancer doesn’t share much about her real life, so here’s everything you need to know about Oti’s mystery husband and the one regret she has from her time on Strictly, which she revealed recently may come to an end after this year’s series.
One thing you’d never have known from Strictly is that Oti has been married since 2014 to fellow pro dancer Marius Lepure, who even made an appearance on Strictly himself in 2017 as part of a group dance number.
The 38 year old from Romania and Oti, 30 met in Germany at a dance trial and went on to finish second together at the World Latin Championships.
As well as success, love blossomed between the two and Marius proposed to Oti on his birthday in 2014
She recently shared a snap of the two on her Instagram describing Marius as “my ride or die”.
Marius is often reminded of the ‘Strictly curse’ that sees a lot of dancers have affairs with their partners, but has laughed off the suggestion.
He told the Daily Mail: “I’ve heard about the Strictly curse, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I simply can’t afford to get a divorce so it’s not going to happen.”
Either way he won’t have to worry about the curse much longer as Oti revealed after she was announced as joining series 19 this year that it may well be her last.
Looking back on her time on the show Oti has just one regret where she wished she did things differently.
While on Kevin Clifton’s podcast the dancer from South Africa reflected on the partnership she had in 2016 with Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac.
“With Danny, we were at the top, so we needed to go,” Oti explained, referring to how strict she was with training at the time . “There [was] no room for failure, we needed to go, go, go, and it was great.
“But I feel like I always say to him, had I met him now, I would have made him rest more.
“The fact that we stayed at 10 wouldn’t have been because we needed to prove something, it would have been simply because we wanted to be there and we just wanted to have a good time.”
The pair are best friends now and Oti said she wishes they’d taken more time in the moment to “enjoy the jokes”.
“We were so busy working, we didn’t even stop to get to know each other,” she explained. “I was like, ‘I don’t know who you are, but you’re gonna dance’ and I just wish I could re-do that whole journey.”
The pair ended up finishing runners up that year, and with her two wins both coming since, Oti can’t have many other regrets about the time she spent on the show.
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You can catch Oti on Saturday May 29 in ITV’s new The Masked Dancer at 7pm.