Cynthia Erivo to replace Motsi Mabuse on Strictly judging panel this weekend

The TV judge is having to self-isolate.
Cynthia Erivo to replace Motsi Mabuse on Strictly judging panel this weekend

By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Motsi Mabuse has announced she will be absent from the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel this weekend after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

The TV star, who travels back and forth between the UK and Germany, will be replaced by Cynthia Erivo, who filled in for judge Craig Revel Horwood last weekend after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Mabuse said she has been informed she has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and would normally be exempt from isolation because she is double vaccinated and has had a booster but her German vaccines are not recognised in the UK.

She said in a statement on Instagram: “I must follow UK Government guidance and can only return after 30th November 2021 to UK.

“Our health is the most important thing, and luckily I have been tested multiple times this week and am negative.

“I am healthy, I am with my family, that’s what matters.”

A statement from Strictly Come Dancing said: “We can confirm Motsi Mabuse will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing this weekend.

“We are delighted that Cynthia Erivo will be joining us as a guest judge again, joining Craig Revel Horwood, Anton Du Beke and head judge Shirley Ballas on the judging panel.

“We look forward to having Motsi back with us next weekend.”

Oscar nominee and stage star Erivo joined Mabuse, Du Beke and Ballas on the judging panel last weekend for musicals week while Revel Horwood was in isolation, and impressed when she gave actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, the show’s first deaf contestant, feedback for her dance routine through sign language.

There have been a string of absences from the series this year.

Revel Horwood, dancer Amy Dowden and contestants Judi Love and Tom Fletcher have all tested positive for coronavirus over the course of the series, while comedian Robert Webb and partner Dianne Buswell withdrew from the show over the TV star’s ill health.

Former rugby player Ugo Monye was also sidelined due to a back injury.

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