Judge Rinder could make Strictly return in same-sex pairing

The TV judge has reportedly been asked to take part in the 2020 Christmas special

Judge Rinder

TV judge Robert Rinder could be set to make a return to Strictly Come Dancing with a same-sex partner later this year.

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The criminal barrister told OK! Magazine that he had been invited to take part in the 2020 Christmas special.

He said, “I was offered next year’s Christmas special with a same-sex dancer. I’d do anything. I’ve danced on stage with Anton du Beke for a Grenfell Tower benefit.”

Rinder took part in the fourteenth series of the show in 2016, finishing in fifth place with professional partner Oksana Platero – and won a legion of fans along the way.

There have been repeated calls for Strictly to include same-sex partnerships in the main series, especially after Dancing on Ice did so earlier this year by pairing former steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins with professional Matt Evers.

In the past, Strictly has included same-sex routines featuring two professional dancers, including one high-profile and well-received routine between Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe in 2019.

Several stars of the show have called for the first same-sex celebrity pairing in the 2020 series, including previous contestants Saffron Barker and Emma Barton, long-running professional dancer Anton Du Beke and former judge Arlene Phillips.

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Meanwhile the Irish version of Strictly, Dancing with the Stars, included its first same-sex dance this year, with former Big Brother contestant Brian Dowling partnered with Kai Widdrington for the show’s ‘switch-up week,’ when contestants swap pro-dance partners.