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Oti Mabuse, 30, and Katya Jones, 31, will once again be on hand to help more eager celebrities showcase their artistic talents on the dance floor this year. The Strictly Come Dancing duo have become two of the most beloved professionals on the BBC show, with both having won the Glitterball Trophy at least once. However, there have been moments on the live programme where things haven’t gone exactly to plan, but the reigning champion has spoken of her admiration for her co-star following her fall in front of thousands last year.
Last season, Katya was partnered up with BBC Breakfast’s Mike Bushell, 54, and the pair defied the odds with how long they stayed in the competition.
During ‘Movie Week’, however, they were close to being sent home when the professional dancer took a tumble during their dance to The Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men.
The sports journalist managed to carry on despite the mishap and when they later went to join Claudia Winkleman, 48, for a debrief, the dancer fell again.
Still, the pair fought valiantly and secured themselves a place in the next stage of the competition, but the scenes did cause an uproar on social media at the time.
Appearing on Steph McGovern’s Channel 4 talk show, Steph’s Packed Lunch on Wednesday, Oti said her co-star was an absolute “professional” at her craft.
Speaking with the 38-year-old presenter about dances going wrong on live television, the reigning champion said: “It’s amazing when you’re dancing.
“I think we had a big mishap last season when Katya fell and she let Mike Bushell dance and she just stood there amazingly.
“She was like, ‘Keep going, Mike’. You just have to style it out. You just have to look as professional as possible.
“But it happens all the time,” she continued, expressing her admiration for the Russian-born professional dancer.
It happens all the time
It is yet unknown who either Oti or Katya will be partnered with this year, despite the official cast list being announced a few weeks ago.
For the first-ever socially distanced season of the popular dance show, just 12 famous faces will be strutting their stuff on the dance floor.
Currently, EastEnders actress Maisie Smith, 19, is the frontrunner to take the title from reigning champion, Kelvin Fletcher, 36.
According to Coral bookmakers, the soap star is at 2/1 to take the crown in a season which will be shorter due to current social distancing restrictions.
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Spokesperson Harry Aitkenhead said: “We think that Maisie is the one to beat on the dancefloor this year and price her up as the hot favourite to win Strictly 2020.”
The actress has stiff competition as The Wanted singer Max George, 32, and chart-topper HRVY, 21, are the second favourites, both sitting at 5/1.
Made in Chelsea star and Oti’s original partner from last year Jamie Laing, 31, is holding third place at 7/1.
Whilst Olympian boxer Nicola Adams, 37, chances of winning stand at 8/1 as she makes history by being one half of the first same-sex couple.
On the other end of the table, comedian Bill Bailey, 55, and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, 57, are the current outsiders.
Coral’s Harry said: “We think that Bill and Jacqui are going to be battling it out to avoid being the first celebrity of the series to be eliminated, and their odds of winning are very long indeed.”
Ahead of her hip surgery earlier this year, Coronation Street star Beverley Callard, 63, has revealed she was in talks to take part this year.
Also speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch, the soap actress said: “One of my dreams is to do Strictly, so please tell [fellow guest] Oti [Mabuse] that, I’m a massive fan and love the show.
“I wouldn’t win Strictly by any means, but I’d love to do it. I was in serious talks with them before my hip thing happened.”
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 begins next month on BBC One.
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