Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse says she can’t understand northern accents

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse has said she struggles to understand the accents of people from the north of England.

Mabuse, who speaks five languages, admitted she has to “really concentrate” when making conversation in the UK.

She added that fellow Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood helps translate when an accent is “too strong”.

Mabuse grew up in South Africa but now lives in Germany.

Speaking to comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster on their Off Menu podcast, the 41-year-old said: “The thing is, you [Britons] all speak differently.

“Every time I’m in the country I really have to concentrate.

“Some people I just don’t know … I’m just like, ‘Are we speaking the same language?’

“There’s a lot of accents here.”

Mabuse was then asked if she struggled with contestant AJ Odudu’s Blackburn dialect during series 19 of the dance reality show back in 2021.

“Yes! Yes, yes, yes. But there have been quite a few people from the north, so I’m always asking Craig. I’m just trying to understand … but it’s not easy.”

She added fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood sometimes acts as a translator for her when they interact with some people from the north of England.

“I really struggle with people that come from the north.

“I’m like, can you please translate at this point? It’s so strong, I just don’t understand, really. I’m being honest.”

Mabuse can speak five languages: English, German and three South African languages including Afrikaans and Setswana.

She said that she often accidentally slips into German during broadcasts: “It’s happened quite a few times.

“Plus I have that South African accent, so it’s a mess. It’s a complete mess.”

Mabuse lives in Germany and has appeared on their version of Strictly called Let’s Dance.

When the dance competition airs on BBC One every autumn and winter, she commutes to the UK every week for the live shows.

She joined Strictly in 2019 as a professional dancer, before becoming a judge alongside Head Judge Shirley Ballas, Revel Horwood and Anton Du Beke.

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