He also worried about it enforcing negative LGBTQ stereotypes.
One of the original Dancing on Ice judges, who has been replaced for the new season by the legend that is John Barrowman, has shared his concerns over how the same-sex pairing will be presented.
Earlier this month, ITV confirmed that the popular ice skating competition will partner celebrity contestant Ian ‘H’ Watkins – who shot to fame as part of chart-topping British pop group Steps in the late 1990s – with Dancing On Ice professional Matt Evers, a first for UK television.
However, speaking on The Jeremy Vine Show, Jason Gardiner shared his fears about how the show will present the couple. “All I hope is that it isn’t tokenism,” he said. “That they don’t make it camp and flamboyant and it’s a proper partnership because it has to also have that romance.”
“I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.”
He then spoke of how gay men are typically portrayed in the media, explaining: “Will it become stereotypical? On mainstream media we’re fine to do camp with gay men, but we don’t want gay men to be romantic.
“We don’t really want to see that. This is an opportunity for them to break the ice.”
Rumours have circulated as to why Jason Gardiner stood down from the dancing competition, but when asked whether it was because he feared ITV might produce a camp performance from the pair, he said: “Well, it is ITV. Sorry ITV, but you know, it’s true.”
Dancing on Ice beat rival show Strictly Come Dancing to have a same-sex pairing on the show. Rumours have surrounded the BBC show for years, and before the latest series began in September, producers said they were “completely open” to the idea of same-sex couples.
An unnamed source reportedly told the Daily Mirror: “Having previously thought it was unnecessary, it has dawned on people at the BBC that the original British show looks a bit backwards in not having embraced the notion of a same-sex couple.”