Len Goodman isn’t a fan of same-sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing – he’s a ‘traditionalist’

The former Strictly veteran has spoken out over the rumours that the show may cater to same-sex couplings in later series

Len Goodman

Strictly Come Dancing may introduce same-sex couples in the future – but former head judge Len Goodman has questioned the move.

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The 75-year-old, who bowed out of the BBC ballroom show after 12 years in 2016, said he is an “old traditionalist”.

“I’ve judged what they used to call pink competition with ladies dancing together, and a load of guys,” he said.

Len Goodman and the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel
Len Goodman and the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel (BBC)

“They were of a very high standard, terrific dancing actually. Somehow whilst you were judging it, you didn’t even notice.”

Speaking to The Sun, he continued: “It wasn’t that one of the men was dressed in a frock or anything, it was done in a very tasteful way. So if it’s done in that way I think it would be okay.

“But that doesn’t change the fact I’m an old traditionalist.”

Goodman also claimed more traditional fans of the show could switch off from Strictly should same sex couples compete.

“It’s so difficult to please everyone. What I’m used to is traditional ballroom and Latin dancing,” he said. “When I was judging on Strictly, if somebody did some outlandish movement I didn’t like it.

“But everything moves on. If they do it, there’ll be people saying, ‘I’m not going to watch it any more’. And if they don’t do it, there’ll be people saying, ‘Well, you’re homophobic’. They can’t win.”

Goodman’s sentiments have not been echoed by new judge Motsi Mabuse. After judging a same-sex couple on Let’s Dance, the German version of Strictly, Mabuse believes it would be a “step in the right direction” for the BBC show.

Australia’s version, Dancing with the Stars, also saw a same-sex pairing when drag queen Courtney Act was paired with male dancer Joshua Keefe.

“Strictly is probably aware of the changes that are happening socially,” Mabuse told Naga Munchetty for the Radio Times magazine.

“The ratings proved the point that sometimes, if you risk something, it pays off. It might go wrong – but at least you tried. The worst thing you can do is stay on the same spot. I respect traditions but you need to keep developing.”

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Strictly Come Dancing launches Saturday 21st September on BBC One