The upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing is reportedly set to feature two new same-sex couples.
For the last two seasons of the beloved competition series, viewers have praised the show for its recent LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Back in 2020, Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams and dancer Katya Jones broke major ground as the show’s first-ever same-sex pairing. Unfortunately, their time on the series was cut short after they both tested positive for COVID-19.
The following year, British Bake Off star John Whaite and his partner Johannes Radebe became the show’s second same-sex pairing and its first all-male team.
After nearly 12 weeks of hard work, the duo landed in second place after Eastenders star Rose Ayling and her partner Giovanni Pernice secured first place.
“I’m so proud to have been part of such a diverse, groundbreaking series of Strictly. What started life as an entertainment show has this year provided solace for so many outcasts,” Whaite said in an emotional post-finale statement.
“Whoever you may be, I pray you always have the heart to be kind, to be understanding and to love. It really is as simple as that.”
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With Strictly’s 20th season around the corner, it looks like the show is gearing up to feature another batch of same-sex pairings.
According to a report from The Sun, the show’s producers have expressed an interest in featuring one all-female couple and one all-male couple in its new season.
“It was clear from audience feedback that fans wanted to see celebrities competing with a partner of the same sex if that was their preference. And bosses have been very mindful of that for this series,” a source told the publication.
“After an all-female pairing and an all-male pairing, this year they were keen to have both. The thinking is that same-sex pairing will very much be part of Strictly in the future.”
The inclusive news comes on the heels of the BBC announcing four new pro-dancers to the show’s lineup.
“Say hello to your new #Strictly pros – Carlos, Lauren, Michelle and Vito! They take the roster of professional dancers to a FAB-U-LOUS 20 for Strictly Come Dancing 2022,” the network said via Twitter.
💃🕺 Say hello to your new #Strictly pros – Carlos, Lauren, Michelle and Vito! They take the roster of professional dancers to a FAB-U-LOUS 20 for Strictly Come Dancing 2022 🎉
Get all the info ➡️ https://t.co/FIeKCKBnzL pic.twitter.com/kkPSgSIO8A
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) July 11, 2022