Let's judge: Motsi Mabuse has her work cut out offering advice and criticism to flat-footed celebrities who do not know the difference between a cha-cha and a rhumba . Picture: Ray Burmiston

When the news that professional dancer Motsi Mabuse had been selected to the judging panel of "Strictly Come Dancing", South Africa celebrated. 

And rightfully so, because Mabuse’s appointment made her one of three production members flying the South African flag high. 

The award-winning dancer said being considered to be a judge on the show was "an honour". Mabuse said: “I got a very unexpected call earlier this year and I thought it was a joke but it was not thankfully." 

She said answering "yes" was easy as she felt she was coming full circle in her career. “When I left South Africa I came to the UK and this country has been a huge part of my dancing career so it was an honour to be asked." 

Mabuse, who replaced Darcey Bussell, described her judging style as empathetic. “I have been on both sides and I understand that words have an effect.” 

Mabuse had been a judge on "Let’s Dance", Germany’s version of "Strictly Come Dancing".

Speaking about the difference between the two shows, she said, “They both have very different energies. In Germany "Let’s Dance" has 4 million viewers while Strictly has between 10 and 12 million. "Let’s Dance" was very experimental on the dance floor and with their production.” 

Now in its 17th season, "Strictly Come Dancing" is the longest-running version of the show. “I think it is popular because it is family-friendly first. We all love to dance as well, whether we think we are good at it or not it is instinctively in us. It’s also filled with emotions and people enjoy that and enjoy going on journeys with the dancers and celebrities on the show,” Mabuse said.   

Watch Motsi in season 17 of Strictly Come Dancing, on every Sunday at 7pm on BBC Brit, DStv channel 120.