Strictly pros: Which dancer has had the most success since quitting the show?

Leaving the Strictly cast did not spell the end of fame for these dancers.

Oti Mabuse. (JMEnternational/Getty Images)
Oti Mabuse has left Strictly but is still a big star. (JMEnternational/Getty Images)

Strictly Come Dancing might unveil a new cast of celebrity contestants each series, but fans of the show know that the pro cast have become every bit as famous as the stars they're partnered with.

Joining the BBC One show's pro cast propels dancers from success in the world of ballroom championships to mainstream fame, with some of them even more recognisable to viewers than the more obscure celebrity signings in each series.

But even when they hang up their dancing shoes, many of the pro dancers find their lives do not fade back into obscurity – these former cast members have become big stars in their own right.

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Brendan Cole

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Brendan Cole arrives at the Pride Of Britain Awards 2023 at Grosvenor House on October 08, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Brendan Cole (WireImage)

Brendan Cole was one of the original Strictly pros, hitting headlines early on as the first alleged Strictly curse victim when he and partner Natasha Kaplinsky were rumoured to have fallen for each other.

Cole took on a number of other TV shows during his time on Strictly, including the earlier celeb version of Love Island and the singing duet show Just The Two Of Us.

He was dropped from the pro cast after the 2017 series, but has remained a popular TV signing and in 2022 was runner-up as a contestant on Dancing On Ice.

Vincent Simone

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Vincent Simone arrives for the National Lottery Awards 2016 at The London Studios on September 9, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images,)
Vincent Simone (Getty Images,)

He was a key member of the pro cast from 2006 to 2012, but despite leaving the contest Vincent Simone is still an instantly recognisable star for many.

Like plenty of his previous Strictly co-stars, Simone celebrated having the autumn and winter months free at last by joining the cast of rival ITV show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! in 2013.

However, he didn't prove particularly popular with viewers as he finished in 10th place.

James and Ola Jordan

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 05:  Ola Jordan and James Jordan attend the european premiere of
Ola and James Jordan (Getty Images)

The Jordans were some of the biggest stars in the pro cast during their Strictly years, and even now that they've both left, rarely a week goes by that they are not in the news.

Outspoken James still regularly tweets his views throughout the live shows of each Strictly series and has remained a popular reality TV signing.

He has taken part in Celebrity Big Brother twice, becoming one of the show's most memorable contestants for never shying away from a row, and won the 2019 series of Dancing On Ice.

Meanwhile, wife Ola has appeared in The Jump (where she suffered a nasty injury that put her dancing career in peril) and I'm A Celebrity 2016, and in 2018 was made a judge on Polish series Dancing With The Stars.

The couple detailed their fertility struggles and have featured in many a glossy magazine shoot with their beloved daughter, Ella.

Janette Manrara

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19: Janette Manrara poses during the 'Strictly Come Dancing: The Live Tour 2023' photocall at Utilita Arena Birmingham on January 19, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Janette Manrara (Getty Images)

Popular dancer Janette Manrara might last have appeared as part of a competing couple in 2020, but she's still a big part of the Strictly family.

Manrara, who is married to another former Strictly pro Aljaz Skorjanec, went straight into hosting spin-off show Strictly: It Takes Two from 2021.

The couple welcomed their first child together in July.

Kevin Clifton

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 10: Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton attend The Olivier Awards 2022 with MasterCard at the Royal Albert Hall on April 10, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for SOLT)
Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton (Getty Images for SOLT)

Strictly star Kevin Clifton competed in his last series in 2019, but has remained a big star since quitting the show.

Clifton, who split from wife and co-star Karen Hauer in 2018, hit headlines when it emerged that he was in a relationship with his 2018 celebrity partner Stacey Dooley.

The pair now have a daughter, Minnie, together and Clifton has been embracing his stage show dreams.

He has starred in the musicals Rock of Ages and War of the Worlds, as well as the show Strictly Ballroom directed by Craig Revel Horwood.

AJ Pritchard

AJ Pritchard
AJ Pritchard (Channel 4)

One of the cast's youngest pros did not wait until dancer retirement age to strike out on his own in search of fame.

Pritchard took part in Celebrity MasterChef and Celebrity Hunted during his last couple of years in Strictly and has done the rounds of some other well known reality shows since then.

He took part in I'm A Celebrity during its 2020 series in Wales, signed up to Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins with brother Curtis Pritchard in 2022 but beat him to complete the course, and the brothers were also guest choreographers on RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

The Pritchards also made their acting debut in 2021 when they appeared for a short stint in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.

AJ hit the headlines for tragic reasons in 2021 when his then-girlfriend Abbie Quinnen suffered severe burns during a TikTok stunt gone wrong.

They were trying to make a wine bottle into a vase when Quinnen was burned and the pair shared her tough road to recovery for months afterwards. They have since split.

Oti Mabuse

Oti Mabuse is one of the judges on Dancing On Ice 2023. (ITV)
Oti Mabuse (ITV)

One of the most successful former Strictly pros so far has been Oti Mabuse, whose older sister Motsi is still a judge on Strictly.

Mabuse, who is currently expecting her first child, has had a CBeebies dance series, was a pro dancer on the German version of Strictly, and has made many an appearance on entertainment shows.

She was a team captain and judge on BBC's The Greatest Dancer, sits on the panel for The Masked Dancer UK, and even joined a rival judging panel following her Strictly exit when she signed up to ITV's Dancing On Ice.

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