Kevin Clifton, 36, responded to a Strictly Come Dancing fan who criticised the appointment of Motsi Mabuse, 38, to the judging panel as 50-year-old Darcey Bussell’s replacement. The Grimsby-born dancer had previously celebrated Motsi’s news in view of his 232,000 Twitter followers, but one of them seemed sceptical about the new judge’s credentials. “Does she have any dancing experience??” the Twitter user asked 32-year-old Stacey Dooley‘s rumoured boyfriend. “I’d prefer Anton [Du Beke, 53] or a previous dancer or you.”
Kevin was having none of it, shutting down any suggestion Motsi wasn’t qualified for the position.
“She’s a very experienced dancer and judge,” he said simply.
Strictly fans flooded to the comments section to back Kevin, many rolling their eyes at the criticism levelled at Motsi.
“Funnily enough I just typed her name into Google and found out her credentials,” one said. “Such a shame others find this so difficult…”
“Try a quick Google search and they’ll see some of her projects… some people,” another agreed, while a third added: “I think she’s going to be a wonderful addition. A worthy replacement for the beautiful @DarceyOfficial.”
“She was judging here in Germany and did a good job,” a fourth fan said.
However, one was still unconvinced, remarking: “I wonder how long it took @bbcstrictly to trawl through millions of potential candidates for the new judge to come up with a sister of one of the dancers? #TheMindBoggles.”
Motsi has been a judge on the German version of Strictly since 2011, having previously worked as a pro on the show.
The South African-born beauty, who is the older sister of Strictly Come Dancing favourite Oti Mabuse, 28, is also a former South African Champion and two-time German Latin Champion.
Following the news she would be replacing Darcey Bussell on Strictly, Motsi Mabuse said: “I am am absolutely overjoyed to be joining the Strictly judging panel.
“I have so much respect and admiration for the other three judges and hope to add my own bit of sparkle to the show,” she added. “I can’t wait to get started!”
Announcing the news, Director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore said: “Motsi is a brilliant addition to the show.
“She is a wonderful dancer in her own right and already has years of experience as a judge under her belt.
“We’re all looking forward to welcoming her to the Strictly family.”
Strictly’s new Executive Producer Sarah James, who is taking over from long-time boss Louise Rainbow, also praised Motsi’s “natural warmth, energy and passion for dance”.
Strictly Come Dancing 2019 airs later this summer on BBC One.