Bosses at Strictly Come Dancing are reportedly looking to defy bookies' expectations and opt for two same-sex pairings - one all-male, one all-female - following months of speculation.
The producers made the decision upon realising it was already widely assumed a male celebrity would be paired with South African pro-dancer Johannes Radebe, according to The Sun.
Radebe performed a same-sex dance routine with fellow pro-dancer Graziano Di Prima last year. While the dance resulted in almost 200 complaints from viewers, it also attracted widespread online praise and celebrities and dancers alike have called on the show to introduce a same-sex pairing.
An insider reportedly told the newspaper: “This is another intriguing twist in the journey. Everyone assumed producers would simply pair gay pro Johannes Radebe with a male celebrity but they felt that was too obvious. Then there was a suggestion they would opt to put two women together.
"But nobody expected having pairings of both genders.”
It has been speculated Strictly will introduce a same-sex pairing ever since ITV's figure skating series Dancing on Ice debuted its own historic same-sex pairing, pop star Ian ‘H’ Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers.
“The plan to introduce a same-sex couple was made after ITV took the plunge," a source previously 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."
RadioTimes.com has reached out to a representative for Strictly Come Dancing asking for comment.
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