Dancing On Ice will feature its first same-sex couple in 2020, with Ian “H from Steps” Watkins set to perform with a male partner.
“After conversations with the Dancing on Ice production team, H enquired as to the possibility of being paired with a male professional skater,” an ITV source told RadioTimes.com. “Dancing on Ice were fully supportive of a same-sex partnership and as such this year H will be paired with Matt Evers.”
However, ITV is holding out on any official announcement, stating: “We won’t be commenting on speculation around the Dancing on Ice pairings until closer to the new series in 2020.”
The ice skating competition has beaten its BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing to the punch, following years of speculation that it would introduce a same-sex partnership.
Former judge Arlene Phillips recently told RadioTimes.com that the show should “make a statement” by including same-sex couples.
“It’s happening in the dance world. There are many same sex couples in dance competitions, it just isn’t on television,” she said. “It’s common, it’s not even thought about. It’s part of dance, and it’s part of storytelling.”
Former head judge Len Goodman, who topped a RadioTimes.com poll to be crowned the best ever Strictly judge, described himself as a “traditionalist” and suggested same-sex couples be trialled on a spin-off show before being included in the main series.