Judge Rinder: It won’t improve LGBTQ people’s lives to see same-sex couples on Strictly

The 2016 Strictly Come Dancing star wasn't surprised to see Susan Calman trolled on Twitter for dancing with a man

Judge Rinder

Judge Rinder has given his verdict about same-sex couples on Strictly – and he’s not in favour.

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Having danced into fifth place in last year’s show alongside his pro partner Oksana Platero, Robert Rinder reckons Strictly should steer clear of “politics”.

In a new column for Radio Times magazine, the TV judge argues that same-sex couples on Strictly wouldn’t improve the lives of gay people around the country.

He writes: “Here’s the deal, folks. I’m sorry, but some things ain’t politics. And Strictly is one of them. The joy of the show is the pure escapism.

“Would it be a big step forward for the LGBTQI community if there were same-sex couples on Strictly?” Rinder asks. “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.

“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.”

The issue is certainly divisive. A RadioTimes.com poll of over 3,400 readers found 54% support the idea of same sex couples on Strictly – while 46% are opposed. It’s not Brexit but it’s close.

The issue has reared its head again after Strictly 2017 contestant Susan Calman was criticised on Twitter for dancing with a man, despite being gay.

Judge Craig Revel Horwood has also suggested there could be same-sex couples on Strictly as soon as next year.

But despite coming out against the idea of “politicising” Strictly by introducing pairs of the same sex, Rinder has suggested a compromise to “satiate these Twitter trolls”.

“I’ll offer myself up to dance with a man on the Strictly Christmas special,” he promises. “I reckon that my tango with Anton Du Beke would be something to behold.”

We’d certainly watch that.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns on 23rd September. Read Judge Rinder’s full column in Radio Times magazine, which hits newsstands on Tuesday 19th September