Belfast Telegraph

Same-sex couples won't be included on Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC have clarified that they won't be including same-sex dancing partners on the show, despite Reverend Richard Coles' criticism.

Strictly Come Dancing bosses have no intentions of introducing same-sex partners to the show.

The programme sees male or female celebrities paired with professional dancers of the opposite sex to learn routines which are then performed on a live Saturday night show. Reverend Richard Coles is one of the famous faces on this year's series, and the openly gay star, who has been paired with Dianne Buswell, recently told Digital Spy that he thinks contestants should be given the option of dancing with professionals of the same gender.

He said: "It makes absolutely no sense that anybody resists the idea, in principle. It’s just a question of doing it. I think this year would be a good year to do it actually, with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act (which decriminalised sex between two men aged more than 21)."

However, a spokesperson for the BBC revealed they have no plans to change the format of the show anytime soon.

“Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition," the representative said.

Comedienne Susan Calman, who has also been open about her sexuality, also attracted criticism for agreeing to dance with a man, but defended herself by stating that she just wants "to learn how to dance".

Despite the BBC's clarification, Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood said during an interview on Lorraine on Monday (11Sep17) that he is hopeful same-sex couples will be introduced to the show on the 2018 series.

"I hope so, I really hope so. In the world of competition there are same-sex couples that do it as well so there is no reason why that can’t happen," he said. "It’s just I guess the Beeb have to decide whether they want to do that one year and I think it’ll probably happen next year.

"When you consider the tango was originally danced between two men anyway. It’s amazing - seeing Argentine Tango between two men is powerful and explosive and the same can happen between two women. There’s nothing wrong, I mean you can get married now can’t you? It’s great to celebrate anyone’s sexuality. And as you say it’s not just about sex it’s about dancing.”

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