Strictly should feature same-sex couples, says Julian Clary
Comedian and writer Julian Clary has said Strictly Come Dancing should find a way to make same-sex couples work on the show.
The comic took part in the second series of the BBC show in 2004, and came third. There had been rumours that this year could see the first same-sex pairing on the show, with the subject hotly debated as it is against professional ballroom dancing rules.
Clary said: "I think it would be fun, first of all, to watch a same-sex couple dancing.
"I'm aware that there are difficulties with the lifts and the mechanics of the dancing. But there are gay ballroom dancing clubs around the country, so they've found a way to make it work.
"And apart from anything else it would be entertaining for us all to watch and tut about."
The writer - who recently published his first children's book The Bolds - is an ambassador for the National Lottery Awards and presented children's writing project, The Ministry of Stories in east London, with the gong for the UK's Best Arts project.
He said: "Lottery funding is obviously important, but for the people I met there, it's just the recognition really, and the fact that they've won something that's thrilled them as much as the money I think."
Clary won Celebrity Big Brother in 2012 and urged the current housemates to try and remain dignified.
He revealed: "My way was to feel very centred and calm because it's upsetting being trapped in a house with people of various stages of insanity and it can very easily get the better of you.
"My mother's final words to me were, 'Don't do anything undignified'. So I often think when I see them all screaming and bawling, that's a bit undignified. And don't try and hide who you are, because the truth comes out."
The 56-year-old star confessed when he left the house he was so indoctrinated by Big Brother he kept waiting to be told what to do.
He added: "You're aware that Big Brother is toying with your emotions. But you become sort of brainwashed and it's all about Big Brother and you'll do whatever Big Brother says by the end of three weeks.
"When I left I had trouble crossing the road because I'd been institutionalised."
::The National Lottery Awards show, National Lottery Stars 2015, airs Monday September 21 on BBC1