Motsi Mabuse responds to allegations she was picked for Strictly so BBC could 'tick every box'

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26: (L-R) Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Bruno Tonioli and Shirley Ballas attend the "Strictly Come Dancing" launch show red carpet arrivals at Television Centre on August 26, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

New Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has responded to allegations she was only hired so the show could 'tick every box'.

The South African born Mabuse has proven a hit among viewers after replacing Darcey Bussell for the new series of the long-running dance contest.

But there was controversy following the announcement when dancer and celebrity Louie Spence called her a "nobody" who was picked as a box-ticking exercise.

But the star has now responded to these claims. She told The Sun: "It would be really sad if someone chose me for my colour only.

"I think a person of colour in any situation should be qualified to do the job. Not just because of the colour of their skin.

"You're always going to have someone attacking you in some way. But it's weird from someone who's never met you, I thought it was funny. But there is already a woman of colour in this show - Oti."

Motsi replaced Darcey, who revealed she was stepping down in April after seven years as a judge.

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COLOGNE, GERMANY - OCTOBER 09: Jury members Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi reacts during the fith show of the television competition 'Stepping Out' on October 9, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 22: Motsi Mabuse, wearing the 'Berlin Crossbody' bag, at the MCM Space Odyssey Event at Frankfurt Opera Store on October 22, 2015 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for MCM)
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: Motsi Mabuse attends the Ein Herz Fuer Kinder Gala 2015 at Tempelhof Airport on December 5, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: Motsi Mabuse attends the Ein Herz Fuer Kinder Gala 2015 reception at Tempelhof Airport on December 5, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 18: (R-L) Motsi Mabuse, Gigi Hadid and Lena Gercke attend the 'The Power Of Colors - MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Make-Up Runway' show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2016 at Brandenburg Gate on January 18, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for MAYBELLINE NEW YORK)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 19: Motsi Mabuse and her sister Otlile Mabuse attend the Marc Cain show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Autumn/Winter 2016 at Brandenburg Gate on January 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for IMG)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Motsi Mabuse, wearing a dress by Lana Mueller Couture, during the Goldene Kamera 2016 reception on February 6, 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images)
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - MARCH 04: Motsi Mabuse attends the Gloria - Deutscher Kosmetikpreis 2016 at Hilton Hotel on March 4, 2016 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Mathis Wienand/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MARCH 11: (L-R)Jury members Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi are seen on stage during the 1st show of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on March 11, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 01: Jury members Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi show their ratings during the 3rd show of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on April 1, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY - APRIL 02: Joachim Llambi, Motsi Mabuse and Dr. Barbara Sturm during the Gala Spa Awards 2016 at Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa on April 2, 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany. (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for GALA)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 29: (L-R) Jurors Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi show the 10-points-sign during the 7th show of the television competition 'Let's Dance' at Coloneum on April 29, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - JUNE 03: Jorge Gonzalez and Motsi Mabuse perform on stage during the final show of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on June 3, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 29: Motsi Mabuse attends the InTouch Awards 'Icons & Idols' at Nachtresidenz on September 29, 2016 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Florian Ebener/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 02: Dancer Motsi Mabuse attends the Mon Cheri Barbara Tag at Postpalast on December 2, 2016 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Mon Cheri)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - MAY 16: Motsi Mabuse attends the Deichmann Shoe Step of the year award at Curio Haus on May 16, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Christian Augustin/WireImage)
(GERMANY OUT) Motsi MABUSE and Otlile MABUSE , Dancers , 30.06.2017 (Photo by Unkel/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 04: Motsi Mabuse and Evgenij Voznyuk perform ahead the runway at the Riani Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2018 at Umspannwerk Kreuzberg on July 4, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Riani)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MARCH 16: (L-R) Jury members Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi are seen on stage during the 1st show of the 11th season of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on March 16, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 20: Members of the jury Jorge Gonzalez, Motsi Mabuse and Joachim Llambi are seen on stage during the 5th show of the 11th season of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on April 20, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 27: Motsi Mabuse during the 6th show of the 11th season of the television competition 'Let's Dance' on April 27, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Florian Ebener/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - DECEMBER 08: Motsi Mabuse during the Ein Herz Fuer Kinder Gala at Studio Berlin Adlershof on December 8, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - MAY 17: Motsi Mabuse and Massimo Sinato during the 8th show of the 12th season of the television competition "Let's Dance" on May 17, 2019 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Joshua Sammer/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 08: Motsi Mabuse during the Belvedere X Janelle Monae event at Hotel Zoo on July 8, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Belvedere)
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Spence had previously said: "I don't know her. She is a nobody. She isn't a celebrity.

"They've got somebody of colour, which is being diverse. They like to tick every box. I'm not saying she's not credible, but maybe that's why they chose her."

Professional dancer Anton Du Beke had been an early favourite to replace Bussell, but Mabuse was picked having already held a similar role on the German version of the show.

Asked about her relationship with Du Beke, Mabuse, 38, told ITV show Lorraine: "It's been fine... We've known Anton for quite a while.

"I met him and he's such a gentleman. I don't think it's anything personal at all. Everyone gets to shine in their different ways."

The seventeenth series of Strictly started earlier this month.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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