Anton Du Beke, 54, joined the judging panel full time for this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing, after a successful guest stint last year. While the former professional dancer has mostly been well received as a judge by viewers and his fellow professionals, he had a huge blunder last night while judging Ugo Monye and Oti Mabuse’s Rumba.
As the couple listened to the judge’s feedback, Anton’s turn came, and he told them: “There was an element of ‘I’d better do this like this or I’m going to get told off in rehearsal next Monday, so there’s a bit of fear going on.
“But, I like the way you danced with, er, Oti there. You got hold of her and you danced with her.”
However, Anton pronounced Oti’s name “Otty”, which immediately caught the attention of viewers at home.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “How many years has Anton worked with Oti? Outrageous that he should get her name wrong.”
Another added: “Every single time I start to like Anton, he does something annoying like mispronouncing Samba and even worse, Oti.”
A third tweeted: “Anton calling Oti ‘OTTIE’ when literally nobody has ever pronounced it like that ever is my villain origin story.”
Meanwhile, a fourth viewer raged: “Who in the f*** is Otty !? her name is OTI, Anton. OH – TEE !! it’s not hard she’s only been on the show for seven years.”
Her dance partner Ugo shared his thoughts this week on the abuse some of his co-stars have faced since appearing on the show.
“We saw it with Tilly, and unfortunately Oti had it on Instagram, and Judi too, whether it be racist abuse or fat-shaming.”
Ugo added that he’s recently spoken to Judi, who missed last night’s episode of Strictly after testing positive for COVID-19, about what has happened.
“I’ve checked in with Judi since she got Covid and the girl is getting nasty messages while she’s trying to recover, saying that she’s opting out this weekend off the back of her being in the dance-off for two weeks,” he added.
“It makes me sad because the line is not blurred between criticism and abuse – there needs to be greater accountability for these people who want to live in the shadows.”