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BBC open to seeing same-sex couples on Strictly

The broadcaster previously said it had ‘no plans’ to change the format.

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Craig Revel Horwood (left), Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (right) are the judges for this year’s series (Ian West/Pa)

Craig Revel Horwood (left), Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (right) are the judges for this year’s series (Ian West/Pa)

Craig Revel Horwood (left), Motsi Mabuse, Shirley Ballas and Bruno Tonioli (right) are the judges for this year’s series (Ian West/Pa)

The BBC has said it is “open” to having same-sex couples competing on Strictly Come Dancing in the future.

In previous years, the broadcaster said it had “no plans” to change the mixed-sex format, despite calls from several of the show’s stars.

But following a report in the Daily Mirror that same-sex pairings will be allowed from next year, the BBC said it was “completely open” to the idea.

A spokesman said: “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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Craig Revel Horwood has supported the prospect of same-sex couples (Ian West/PA)

Craig Revel Horwood has supported the prospect of same-sex couples (Ian West/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Craig Revel Horwood has supported the prospect of same-sex couples (Ian West/PA)

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood has supported the idea of same-sex couples, previously saying he thought it would happen “eventually”.

“I think more and more people want it, the more it will happen,” he said.

“I have no argument against it. I think it would be rather fun. Maybe the BBC will be brave enough one day to do it.”

Previous contestant Rev Richard Coles argued it made “no sense” that anyone would resist having dancers of the same gender taking to the floor together, while dancing pro Kevin Clifton has said he would be happy to dance with another man on the show.

Last year, the show included a dramatic same-sex dance, for what was thought to be the first time.

The performance drew a positive reaction from fans, who were delighted to see the professionals dancing together outside of the usual male/female pattern.

PA