11/04/2019 17:19 BST

Oti Mabuse Early Favourite To Replace Darcey Bussell On Strictly Come Dancing, According To Bookies

She's already proven she's got what it takes on The Greatest Dancer.

Oti Mabuse has emerged as the early favourite to replace Darcey Bussell as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing

The dancer, who has been a professional on the show since 2015, is currently the bookies’ pick to take up a seat on the panel when Strictly returns in the autumn. 

Bookmakers Paddy Power have her listed at 5/4 to become the new judge, who will sit alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
Oti Mabuse is the bookies' favourite to replace Darcey Bussell on Strictly

Oti is followed by fellow pro dancer Anton Du Beke at 2/1, while former Strictly professional and It Takes Two regular Karen Hardy is at 4/1. 

Check out the full odds below...

  • 5/4        Oti Mabuse
  • 2/1        Anton De Beke
  • 4/1        Karen Hardy
  • 8/1        Brendan Cole
  • 8/1        Arlene Philips
  • 15/1      Cheryl Cole
  • 16/1      Helen Richey
  • 25/1      Erin Boag
  • 50/1      Alfonso Ribero
  • 50/1      Caroline Flack
  • 66/1      Christine Lampard
  • 70/1      Alesha Dixon
  • 80/1      Nicole Scherzinger

Oti made the leap from pro dancer to judge earlier this year when she took up a coaching spot on The Greatest Dancer alongside Cheryl and Matthew Morrison

Anton, meanwhile, came close to joining the panel in 2017 when he auditioned to replace former Head Judge Len Goodman. Karen also made no secret of her desire to land the role, but both eventually lost out to Shirley. 

Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Anton Du Beke has also made a bid for a role on the panel before

Oti and Anton have both already been confirmed to be part of this year’s professional line-up on Strictly, though it remains to be seen whether bosses could promote one of them in light of Darcey’s departure.

The prima ballerina announced her exit in a statement on Wednesday, in which she insisted she was leaving on good terms and not because of “any upset or disagreement”.

“It has been a complete privilege for me to be part of Strictly, working with such a talented team,” she said.

Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
Darcey is leaving Strictly after seven years on the panel

“I have enjoyed every minute of my time and will miss everyone from my fellow judges, the presenters, the dancers, the musicians, the entire backstage team, and especially the viewers of the show, who have been so supportive.

“I am not leaving because of any upset or disagreement at all, I am just stepping away to give more focus to my many other commitments in dance, after seven truly wonderful years that I can’t imagine having gone any better.”

She added: “I know I will miss being part of this unique show and the fact that it celebrates dance is something I am so passionate about. I hope that I may be very lucky to be asked back again one day.”

Shirley and Bruno both later paid tribute to their colleague on social media, with the Head Judge thanking her for “holding her hand” when she joined the show in 2017, while Bruno hailed Darcey as a “national treasure”. 

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing's Former Pros: Where Are They Now? See Gallery