Shirley Ballas reveals why she’s excited about Strictly’s first same-sex couple
Strictly's Shirley Ballas has told RadioTimes.com why she can't wait to see the show's first same-sex couple take to the dance floor.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com for The Big RT Interview, the head judge said that she thinks the BBC has "put a great line-up together" this year, but is especially thrilled by the introduction of a same-sex couple.
"I am excited about the same sex [couple], very much, because I had a little girl partner until I was about 12, so you know, and we have it in my own industry, men dancing together, women dancing together," she said.
She continued: "And let's face it, for centuries and on stage, we've always had men group numbers, women group numbers, you know ballet dancers who dance together. It's nothing new, it's just new for us on Strictly."
"So I think that people need to give this a chance and just appreciate movement to music and quality of movement," she added. "I'm very very excited about that."
Rumours that Strictly would be introducing a same-sex pairing into this year's competition began emerging back in July, but it wasn't until last month that the BBC confirmed it would be boxing champion Nicola Adams making history as part of the show's first single-gender couple.
Series 18 of Strictly Come Dancing started in the weekend with the show's launch show, which saw the series' Strictly Come Dancing professionals paired up with the Strictly Come Dancing line-up of celebrities – including Adams, who was partnered with 2017 champion Katya Jones.
Many fans took to Twitter to congratulate Adams on her pairing, with one user writing, "OK I'm emotional I admit it", alongside a picture of Pope Francis holding up a picture of the couple.
Before the Strictly Come Dancing launch, Adams spoke to RadioTimes.com and other press about being part of the show's first same-sex pairing, saying: "I don't see why it's a big deal!"