Sunday 27 May 2018

Shirley Ballas: I’m all for same-sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing

The BBC has previously said there are ‘no plans’ to make the move.

Shirley Ballas said she would love same-sex dancing couples to appear on Strictly (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Shirley Ballas said she would love same-sex dancing couples to appear on Strictly (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas has said she “couldn’t think of anything more exciting” than having a same-sex couple take part in the show.

The BBC has previously said there are “no plans” to change its mixed-sex couple format.

However, Ballas, 57, told Good Morning Britain: “They’re just about to have the final of the Italian version of Strictly. A same-sex couple, two men, made the final.”

Asked about the possibility of that happening on the UK show, she said: “I think it’s spectacular. I think things are changing. I couldn’t think of anything more exciting. I’m for it.”

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Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood has previously said the BBC should make the move and predicted it will happen soon.

Ex-contestant Judge Rinder branded questions about why he did not dance with a man on the 2016 series “absurd”.

“My sexuality, in terms of Strictly or whatever else I do in my life, ought to be as irrelevant as the length of my big toe,” he told Radio Times magazine.

Comedian Susan Calman, who is a lesbian, received criticism on social media for not having a female professional partner on the 2017 show.

Fellow contestant Rev Richard Coles has argued it made “no sense” that anyone would resist having dancers of the same gender taking to the floor together.

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Charlotte Hawkins (Ian West/PA)

Ballas also told Good Morning Britain that she had no problem with contestant Charlotte Hawkins, who she accidentally called Molly on the show.

“It was constructive criticism in order for her to get better the next week,” she said of her remarks to the Good Morning Britain host, who was partnered with the now axed Brendan Cole.

“Unfortunately, a certain member took it the wrong way.”

“There was no friction between Brendan and I … And how Brendan likes to conduct himself is his business,” she added.

“I tried to express that perhaps the choreography was a little difficult at the beginning because she had talent. But unfortunately he (Cole) took it the wrong way.”

Press Association

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