Double Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams insisted on being in a same-sex couple if she was going to dance on Strictly Come Dancing 2020 and her wish was granted – she will make history when she dances with a woman for the first time on Saturday 24th October.
The Leeds-born athlete doesn’t see what the big deal is, after former Strictly Come Dancing head judge Len Goodman recently commented that some older, more traditional people “might not be sure” about the development on the BBC One show.
Nicola said it was important for her to dance with a woman to represent “diversity”.
She said: “I wanted to do something different and I didn’t see what the big deal would be pairing with another female. We go to nightclubs, girls dance with girls all the time. Professional dancers dance with girls all the time. I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
Being a role model was important to the 37-year-old.
“Definitely it’s really good to show diversity for the younger generation, to be able to see someone from the LGBT community… it’s nice for them to see that that could be me.”
The discipline and skills she’s learned from decades of boxing at the top level will be an advantage, she believed.
“I have the fitness side down,” she said, “I’m quite light on my feet, I’m used to being on my toes and I know a lot of the dances you have to be on your toes, so I’m hoping that gives me a little bit of an advantage.
After fighting in front of huge crowds, the live audience and millions watching on TV won’t be a problem either.
Nicola said: “The performance side thing, that’s a lot easier for me because I’m used to performing in front of big crowds – 20,000 people.”
Not that she’s taking anything for granted. She’s “super competitive” and desperately wants to be in the final, but she’s also realistic about her competition.
Who is her biggest rival on Strictly Come Dancing 2020?
“Oh man! I don’t know to be fair,” she said. “Everybody could be really good when we start. I guess maybe Maisie [Smith] because she’s already danced before, so she knows what she’s doing. So I think she’ll be a front runner.”
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 premieres on BBC One with the launch show on Saturday 17th October. The live shows commence the following Saturday. While you’re waiting visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.