Will Young hits out at “insulting” narrative around Strictly Come Dancing same-sex partners

The pop star competed in Strictly last year with Karen Clifton as his partner, before dropping out in week three

Will Young

Will Young has hit out at the idea that gay Strictly contestants should only be expected to dance with a same-sex pro partner, calling it “insulting”.

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Scottish comedian Susan Calman has been criticised on Twitter for agreeing to dance with a man in this year’s show, sparking a debate about same-sex couples and whether we’ll ever see them on on Strictly Come Dancing.

It’s a conversation that is familiar for pop star Will, who competed in last year’s series before dropping out in week three for “personal reasons”.

Will Young and Karen Clifton compete in Strictly Come Dancing (BBC)

Speaking on his Homo Sapiens podcast, Will told co-host Chris Sweeney: “You’re occupying your male sexuality whether that is gay or not. When I danced with my partner Karen [Clifton], we did the Tango to David Bowie – it was our first dance. I bloody loved it!

“It was all about a connection. I didn’t try and pretend that I wanted to screw her, I was just taking on the character.

“And I think actually I would find it more insulting if someone was like, ‘ You’ve got to dance with a man because you’re gay’. It’s the same as acting, it’s like, no, I don’t!'”

Looking back at his brief stint on Strictly, Will said he loved the experience of having a female dance partner.

“I loved being close to a woman,” he explained. “I was like, ‘This is great!’ And she’s a lot lighter to lift than a man – I mean I could not have done that Bollywood Salsa with a man who’s 13 stone.

“She was light, she was like a panther – and then I quit! Well, to be honest, I’d reached the zenith of my ballroom career.”

His comments come after another Strictly 2016 star, Judge Rinder, wrote a Radio Times column arguing there would be no benefit in “politicising” the show.

“Do me a favour! It would not improve the life of anybody to see a Scottish comedian doing jazz hands with another almost-certainly-not-gay woman on TV,” he wrote.

“There are plenty of organisations making a real difference to the lives of gay people around the country that do need our help, so why undermine the wonder of Strictly by politicising it.”

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Strictly Come Dancing returns on 23rd September at 6.20pm on BBC1