BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing will reportedly introduce its first ever celebrity same-sex couple this year, following in the wake of ITV’s Dancing on Ice.
Last year Dancing on Ice paired pop star Ian “H” Watkins with pro-skater Matt Evers, in an historic first for the ITV entertainment series.
There are now reports that Strictly will follow suit, with South African dancer Johannes Radebe likely to become the first pro-dancer to pair up with a same-sex celebrity, according to The Sun.
Radebe previously caused a stir when he performed a same-sex routine with fellow pro-dancer Graziano Di Prima last year. Although the dance resulted in almost 200 complaints from viewers, it also attracted online praise, while celebrities and dancers alike have called on the show to introduce a same-sex pairing.
“The plan to introduce a same-sex couple was made after ITV took the plunge,” a source told The Sun. “Many of Strictly’s stars have called on producers to cast a same-sex couple for the past few years and it’s been decided this will be the year.
“Johannes made history with Graziano in the last series by becoming the first same-sex dancers to perform and he’s made no secret of how keen he’d be to take on the role.”
A Strictly spokesperson could not confirm the move to RadioTimes.com, but pointed us towards a statement they previously issued in August last year: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.
“We are completely open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”
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