Strictly Come Dancing is currently off-air, so naturally speculation is rife.
When Strictly Come Dancing is off-air, one of the favourite pastimes of the media is to speculate about its next series. Usually this takes the form of which celebrities will be signing up, but in recent years it’s been around the question of when the series will finally introduce same-sex couples.
Last year, the producers gave us the most hope yet, when they said they were “completely open” to the idea of same-sex couples competing, but this ultimately took the form of professional pairings, with a moving performance between pros Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima.
And now the ever-present ‘show insider’ has told The Sun that the BBC will make the move with the popular series after its rival show, Dancing on Ice, took the plunge with Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins and professional dancer Matt Evers.
“The plan to introduce a same-sex couple was made after ITV took the plunge,” they said. “Many of Strictly’s stars have called on producers to cast a same-sex couple for the past few years and it’s been decided this will be the year.
“Johannes made history with Graziano in the last series by becoming the first same-sex dancers to perform and he’s made no secret of how keen he’d be to take on the role.
“None of the dancers have been ruled out of the running but Johannes has been the most vocal about stepping forward and making history again on the series.”
Naturally, openly gay professional dancer Johannes Radebe is the favourite to be paired up with someone of the same-sex, but other pros have also thrown their hat in. Series 15 winner Katya Jones said she’d want the first same-sex couple on the show to be a female one, and put her name forward.
However, current social distancing measures might make it hard for the series to air later this year, but apparently show bosses are determined. Proposed solutions have included moving the series to an early 2021 start, scrapping the live studio audience or following Dancing with the Stars Australia and isolating the pairings in somewhere like a hotel, and then having them perform there.
Celebrities rumoured to be in the running to compete this year include comedian and Drag Race UK judge Alan Carr, TV legend Lorraine Kelly, TV presenter 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.