COLOGNE (dpa-AFX) - The three judges of the RTL dance show "Let's Dance" - Motsi Mabuse, Jorge González and Joachim Llambi - will remain on the show for several more years. Their continued collaboration has already been contractually agreed, as they confirmed to the German Press Agency in Koln. "Last year, we extended the current contract for several years ahead of schedule, I think we can safely reveal that," said entertainer Jorge González. "For me, a step like this is a real vote of confidence from RTL in the three of us." His colleague Joachim Llambi explained: "The jury will be working together for a while yet."

The three judges - who are very different in character - have been sitting together behind the jury panel of the dance show since 2013, which was first broadcast in 2006. In the fast-moving show business with frequently changing casts, that's a very long time. The 17th season begins on Friday (February 23, 8.15 pm, RTL) - once again with Motsi Mabuse, Jorge González and Joachim Llambi, of course, who will be judging the dances with scoring ladles. Celebrities competing this time include choreographer Detlef Soost, model Eva Padberg and influencer Sophia Thiel.

"I am delighted that Motsi Mabuse, Jorge González and Joachim Llambi will remain with us in the coming years and continue to take their places behind the jury panel," said Inga Leschek, Program Director RTL and RTL+. They are a "unique team" and, alongside the stars and dance professionals, have played an important part in the format's success story. Leschek spoke of the "longest serving jury of an entertainment show in the world".

The exact duration of the contracts was not disclosed. Several media outlets had reported on this./idt/DP/zb