Oti Mabuse has given a candid insight into her friendship with Holly Willoughby as she gushed that she has an ‘insane love’ for her close pal.
The South African dancer, 31, joined the Dancing on Ice panel after quitting Strictly Come Dancing and she spoke about forming a friendship with host Holly, 41, on the show.
She described the This Morning presenter as ‘fun and real’ and said the pair are constantly supporting one another as she gushed over their relationship.
Sweet: Oti Mabuse has given an insight into her friendship with Holly Willoughby as she gushed that she has an ‘insane love’ for her close pal
Oti told the Mirror’s Pride of Britain podcast: ‘I have this insane love for Holly, she’s kind and fun and real.
‘We always tell each other how incredible we are and that we’re doing an amazing job, and it really, really helps.’
She spoke of the importance of women building each other up and not being pitted against each other, revealing that she always advises her fans to follow their dreams.
Speaking of how her parents influenced her positive attitude, Oti said they always encouraged her and her sisters – Motsi, 41, and Phemelo, 35 – to do whatever they wanted.
Pals: The South African dancer, 31, has joined the Dancing on Ice panel after quitting Strictly Come Dancing and she spoke about forming a friendship with host Holly, 41, on the show
Oti, who was born in 1990, grew up in Mabopane, South Africa, in the Apartheid era and said her father encouraged her to travel overseas as black people weren’t able to travel as freely before 1994.
And she said her mother Dudu always worked to get her and her sisters the opportunities she never had, as black people weren’t allowed on the same dance floor as white people when she was a teenager.
‘My mum was fighting and sacrificing for all of us,’ Oti said, explaining that her mother started classes to teach black dancers ballroom when nobody else offered it.
Oti said her mother also encouraged her to be ambitious, leading her to become an eight-time South African Latin ballroom champion, get a civil engineering degree and move to Germany to appear on Strictly before moving to the UK.
Positivity: She spoke of the importance of women helping to build each other up and not be pitted against each other and revealed she always advises her fans to follow their dreams
Oti recently revealed that competing in the UK with a larger chest left her questioning if she was still good enough to continue dancing.
The former Strictly champion released her own lingerie after feeling ‘different’ when she first started dancing in the country.
Appearing on Loose Women last month, Oti said she felt that in South Africa, all women were more alike than in the UK.
Oti explained: ‘When I started in South Africa, it wasn’t such a big deal because we were all the same… but when I came here, I noticed that I looked different.
Siblings: Speaking of how her parents influenced her attitude, Oti explained that they always encouraged her and her sisters Motsi, 41, and Phemelo, 35, to do whatever they wanted
‘Is that wrong? Am I wrong?’
She continued: ‘And you start to judge and that’s what’s happening in your head and you start to doubt yourself.
‘It had to be a look of self-talking. I don’t like to be lied to, so I don’t lie.’
It is not the first time that the dance professional has spoken candidly about her body imagine.
The dancer previously revealed that during her first ever stint on Strictly, she burst into tears at the dress fitting due to her 28GG boobs.
Body image: It comes after Oti recently revealed that competing in the UK with a larger chest left her questioning herself if she was still good enough to continue dancing
In an interview with Lorraine in 2018, she said: ‘I remember fitting my first bra and I was crying. I was like, this looks so bad and I look so massive compared to the other girls.
‘Nobody picked on me for it and no one discriminated against me for it and nobody said anything in a negative way and I think that helped me and my self esteem and my nerves about being out in a bra with sequins on.’
Oti revealed that as a child, she would cover up with baggy tops, but once she slipped into her sequinned number on Strictly, there was no hiding.
She added: ‘All my family has always had big boobs. I was hitting puberty way before other girls were.’
Back in February, the Romeo & Duet host shocked fans when she announced that she would be leaving Strictly after seven years as a professional dancer.
Oti, who has recently embarked on her solo tour I Am Here, won the dance contest with Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 and comedian Bob Bailey in 2020.
Announcing her decision to leave the show, she said: ‘I was on Strictly for seven years and it was such a big part of my career. I did feel like, ‘OK, it’s time to move on.”
She added: ‘I think also, it was wanting a new challenge.’
Moving on: Back in February, the Romeo & Duet host shocked fans when she announced that she would be leaving Strictly after seven years as a professional dancer