“Oh God. This is entirely my own fault.”
Graham Norton has issued an apology after saying same-sex partners would “muddy the waters” on Strictly Come Dancing.
Before Nicola Adams was announced to be taking part in the historic same-sex pairing, Norton told Best Magazine that he doesn’t “particularly need to see a man dancing with a man,” because there are “people who can be openly gay” on the show.
“I understand the reason the Strictly bosses might do it is coming from a good place, but it does kind of muddy the waters for the judges,” he said.
“If you’ve got two partners who can do lifts and men’s bodies are different shapes, how would that work?”
Following widespread backlash on social media, the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge addressed his comments on Twitter and celebrated Nicola for making history on the long-running dance competition.
“Oh God. This is entirely my own fault,” he wrote. “Ages ago gave a throwaway comment to a journalist. Clever clogs remembered and now look! So sorry.
“Big up Nicola Adams and her partner! And to people messaging me to say they agree – please stop. Everyone dancing on that show brings pure joy. Let’s all enjoy a beautiful thing.”
Shortly after the double Olympic gold-winning boxer was confirmed for the series, she told the BBC that she is “a huge fan of the show” and is “thrilled to be part of something that holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts.”
Nicola added: “People might know me from work in the ring, but I’ll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dance-floor.
“I wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”
And to people messaging me to say they agree – please stop. Everyone dancing on that show brings pure joy. Let’s all enjoy a beautiful thing.
— graham norton (@grahnort) September 30, 2020
The BBC recently shut down anti-LGBTQ+ viewers who complained about the pairing, calling Strictly an “inclusive show” that is “proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.”
“We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise,” they wrote. “Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate.”
They continued: “The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.”