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Ian ‘H’ Watkins challenges Strictly to have same sex couple on next series

The Steps star said being on Dancing On Ice had been ‘brutal but brilliant’.

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Matt Evers and Ian “H” Watkins (Ian West/PA)

Matt Evers and Ian “H” Watkins (Ian West/PA)

Matt Evers and Ian “H” Watkins (Ian West/PA)

Ian “H” Watkins challenged Strictly to follow Dancing On Ice’s example and have a same sex couple, as he was eliminated from the competition.

The Steps star and his ice-skating partner Matt Evers made history as part of the first same sex couple to compete on prime-time TV, but received their marching orders on Sunday after a skate-off against Ben Hanlin and Carlotta Edwards.

As he was eliminated, Watkins praised the show for its historical move and told Strictly: “It’s your turn next.”

“Thank you to ITV for championing visibility and acceptance and diversity,” he said.

He went on: “I’d like to say as well, Strictly, it’s your turn next.”

Watkins said it had been a great experience.

“It’s been brutal but brilliant,” he said.

Evers said although the pair were out of the competition, they were leaving as winners.

“We may have been voted out tonight, but we won,” he said.

“For a lot of people around the world and in this country, we won.”

The skater said being a part of the first same sex partnership had been “absolutely incredible”.

“I’m 43 years old and I’m still expanding my vocabulary,” he said.

Ian H Watkins (left) and Matt Evers
Ian H Watkins (left) and Matt Evers (Ian West/PA)

Before Watkins and Evers were paired up on the programme, there had been much speculation that same sex couples would feature on a TV dance competition.

BBC One’s Strictly featured a same sex dance between two of its professionals in the last series.

Watkins and Evers made their debut on the ice in January and the singer, who is gay, broke down in tears after their performance.

Asked how he felt following the routine, he said: “Emotional because I have wanted this for so long and it means so much to so many people.

“And the world is ready for this.”

Dancing On Ice airs on ITV and in Ireland on Virgin Media Television.

PA