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Craig Revel Horwood: We need better LGBT+ representation on Strictly

BBC/Guy Levy

The pressure on Strictly Come Dancing has heated up again as judge Craig Revel Horwood’s pushed for more LGBT+ representation on the show.

The BBC One hit show came under fire last week following a question by Gay Times to openly gay contestants Rev Richard Coles and Susan Colman – both of which have been excluded from dancing with a same-sex partner.

“We’ve had a discussion about it, actually,” revealed Rev Richard to Gay Times on the chances of him dancing with a same-sex partner. The same sentiment wasn’t shared by comedian Susan, who hit back at the LGBT+ community.

“For the gay community to criticise me and to try and get me to do what they want to do is, I think, as difficult as suggesting the straight community are trying to… nobody is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I, I want to learn how to dance.”

Now openly gay judge Craig Revel Horwood – who is set to appear as Miss Hannigan in West End musical Annie – revealed he’d pushed the BBC to broaden its mind on equal opportunities.

“I think it’s something the BBC have probably thought about but certainly aren’t going with this year,” Craig told Gay Times of his hopes for same-sex representation on Strictly Comes Dancing this year.

He added that he hopes the BBC One show will include the LGBT+ community in the coming or future series.

“They might do it and I’m hoping we do see same-sex couples.” Craig adding: “Why not?”

Related: Strictly’s Susan Calman: “LGBT community must stop attacking me over not wanting to dance with a same-sex partner”

BBC/Ray Burmiston

Why not is a good point as after all, it’s just two men dancing…

“When you consider the tango, originally, was created for two men. Men dance tango together in Argentina and Moroccans hold hands walking down the street and it’s perfectly acceptable – and kiss their male friends.”

Craig argued that the power of a young LGBT+ person watching themselves represented on mainstream television should be all of our focus – adding that ‘normal’ isn’t something anybody has the right to define.

“Everyone is individual and what is ‘normal’? I don’t think ‘normal’ actually exists. I can’t see what is ‘normal’?,” he questioned to us.

“Making equal rights for everybody I think is very, very important as then people can live their lives how they want to live them and be free without persecution. I think it’s really important that we get that right.

“The world is heading that way. Australia is still lagging behind. I was born in Australia and you still can’t get married there – God. They need to buck up their ideas.”

A spokeswoman for the BBC said this past weekend: “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.”

More information on Annie can be found here

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