Earlier this month, it was reported that the popular show was looking to have a female same-sex pairing when it returned.
As always with an upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, there are about a million rumours swirling around. There have been a lot of hints that its upcoming 18th series would be the first to feature same-sex pairings, with further rumours saying bosses wanted a female pairing.
However, due to uncertainty about how the upcoming series will be produced, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are reports that this same-sex pairing may be delayed until next year.
An unnamed show insider has told the Mirror that show bosses are currently focused on how best to film the series, while keeping the cast and crew safe. It’s thought that these added complications is what has motivated the move to make the delay.
About ways to film the series, the unnamed source said: “We could start with one scenario and then change it in line with restrictions being eased. All these plans are subject to change. It only takes one spike, and we’re back at square one.”
The show insider also explained that pros and their celebrity partner could “bubble up”, as it’s hoped that guidelines around meeting people from other households may be further eased by September, which could allows the pairs to go separate ways after a day of training. The idea means that the professionals will all start living together in a hotel by the end of July.
Other potential changes to the upcoming series could see Bruno Tonioli absent from the judging panel as he is currently in Los Angeles, no trip to Blackpool and the loss of themed dances for Movies and Halloween Week.
Earlier this week, former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips told The Sun that introducing same-sex pairings wouldn’t be “offensive”, explaining: “I feel absolutely you could have male, male, female, female partners, and it shouldn’t be made a fuss of.
“They are not making a decision to do a defined male or female role. They are dancing together. And I think we should all, let it happen.”
She added: “Dance has to readily move forward and it’s not an offensive thing.”
We certainly hope that these reports are false, and that we will see Strictly’s first same-sex pairing when, or if, the show returns later this year, especially since the rumoured names are incredible.
Show bosses are reportedly looking to sign X Files and Sex Education star, and bona fide legend, Gillian Anderson, although other potential names include Jessie J, Chelcee Grimes, Steph McGovern and Sandi Toksvig.
Although no female pro was named as a likely dancer, Series 15 winner Katya Jones has voiced support for the idea, and has previously volunteered to dance with a woman on the show.
And former Strictly pro Kristina Rihanoff has said she could return to the show and dance with Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, but given that Nicole competed on (and won) the tenth series of Dancing with the Stars in America, this is quite unlikely.
Other celebrities rumoured to be in the running to compete this year include comedian and Drag Race UK judge Alan Carr, radio presenter Maya Jama, TV legends Lorraine Kelly and Jane McDonald and Corrie’s Jack P. Shepherd, as well as Jamie Laing and Will Bayley who were forced to withdraw from last year’s series with injuries.