AJ Pritchard pitches Phillip Schofield for Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple

The former Strictly pro would thinks Schofield would be "great".

Phillip Schofield

Former Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard has pitched This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield as his top pick for Strictly’s first ever same-sex pairing.

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The professional dancer announced his shock decision to leave the programme earlier this year as he focuses on pursuing projects with his brother, Curtis Pritchard.

This year, Strictly is set to look quite different, as it implements format changes necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic and reportedly prepares to introduce two same-sex couples.

Rumoured to include an all-female and all-male pairing, the Strictly Come Dancing line-up remains tightly under wraps, but Pritchard has a suggestion that would certainly prove popular.

“I think Phillip Schofield would be great on Strictly,” he told The Sun. “He got up on This Morning once with Holly and did a bit of a boogie and he can dance, and he is entertaining, and he is such a nice guy.

“To see him learn and put him under a bit of pressure would always be funny, I’m sure. It would be great if he was part of the first same-sex couple on Strictly – I would love to see that.”

The show featured a one-off same-sex performance by two of the Strictly Come Dancing professionals in its previous series, which sparked approximately 200 complaints.

However, since ITV’s Dancing On Ice successfully featured its first same-sex competitors this year, former Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins and skater Matt Evers, the BBC series is seemingly intending to catch up.

Pritchard added: “I know certain pro dancers would like to dance with a woman because that is what tradition is, and it kind of makes sense but it is very much down to someone’s personal opinion of what Ballroom and Latin dancing actually is.

“For me dancing isn’t about the sex, it’s just about two people dancing and performing together and telling the story – it doesn’t matter if it’s two men or two women.

“It is just about dancing and telling the story – why would sex get in the way of that?”

For the first time in its history, Strictly Come Dancing may have no studio audience this year, and contestants will face strict lockdown measures.

Since coming out as gay in February, Schofield has been rumoured to be part of Strictly’s first same-sex couple, although a spokesperson for the presenter told RadioTimes.com last month these are “untrue”.

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Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.