Oti Mabuse: Strictly pro talks BBC’s concerns about new project ‘In a really bad state’

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Oti Mabuse, 30, was supposed to be in South Africa filming a documentary for the BBC. However owing to the current state of affairs in the country, the public broadcaster decided to shut down filming due to the “risk” involved.

We don’t want to risk it

Oti Mabuse

Oti explained: “I still have to film it, I’m supposed to be in South Africa as we speak and the borders are closed, the country is in a really bad state.

“The BBC were like, ‘We don’t want to risk it’. What happens is once you leave the border, you need so much permission to come out. 

“You need the police assistance, you need the government to write a letter,” she added, while speaking on Jamie Laing’s Private Parts podcast.

The current travel advice on the UK government website for those wishing to travel to South Africa is that all but essential visits be postponed.

The country is currently undergoing a second wave of COVID-19, that is spreading rapidly.

Until Monday, all borders between South Africa and neighbouring countries are closed.

Visitors arriving into the UK who have been in or transited through South Africa in the previous 10 days will not be permitted entry.

Oti, who was born in South Africa,  and was set to film a special film a one-off documentary there, which would explore her childhood landscape.

At the time the announcement was made, the Strictly star wrote: “So excited. My heart is beating with pure gratitude and joy to share the new of my journey through my beloved home country, South Africa, with a brand new documentary.

“To be asked by the BBC to do my very own documentary about something that is so close to my heart is an absolute privilege and I am deeply humbled.

“I can’t wait to show the viewers where I grew up and take them on the journey that got me to where I am today. I truly hope they love South Africa as I do,” she added.

Oti had been leading up the announcement with a series of teasers on social media.

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Previously she hinted: “I have the best news ever! This is going to be brilliant. Can’t say what it is yet but (yes) to you know who. 

“I love you and you’re simply the best and thank you.”

The BBC also confirmed the project in a statement: “In a one-off BBC One special, and eight years after she left home, Oti Mabuse is going back to her country of birth to show us her South Africa. 

“It is a country that she feels is often misunderstood and she will show us a land of beauty, diversity, and hope. 

“Oti will travel across the country starting at the nostalgic and familiar landscape of her childhood in Mabopane near Pretoria.

“She will follow roads she has travelled with her family, meet old and new friends, and complete a road trip full of surprises,” they added.

However, for now, it seems the project remains on the back burner while the UK stays in lockdown for the third time amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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