Arlene Phillips urges Strictly to include same-sex pairings, saying they are 'not offensive'

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Arlene Phillips attends The Olivier Awards with Mastercard at Royal Albert Hall on April 8, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)
Arlene Phillips attends the Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018. (John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images)

Arlene Phillips has commented on rumours Strictly Come Dancing is to include a same-sex dance couple on the next series of the show.

The choreographer, a former judge on the show, said the idea of same-sex couples is “not offensive” and “shouldn’t be made a fuss of”.

Rumours arose recently after a source reportedly told The Sun that show bosses were considering a same-gender coupling after rival show Dancing On Ice had Steps star Ian Watkins skating with professional Matt Evers.

Read more: The return of Dancing On Ice: It will happen, promises Christopher Dean

Now 77-year-old Phillips, who was replaced on the show by former winner Alesha Dixon, has urged the show to go ahead with plans.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: “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.

Judges, (left-right) Craig Revel Hallwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman during the final dress rehearsal for the first ever tour of Strictly Come Dancing Live! at the SECC in Finnieston, Glasgow.   (Photo by Michael Boyd - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Craig Revel Hallwood, Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman during the final dress rehearsal for the first tour of Strictly Come Dancing Live! at the SECC in Finnieston, Glasgow. (Michael Boyd – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

“Dance has to readily move forward and it’s not an offensive thing.”

She also pointed out how same-sex partners in the world of ballroom dancing is not a new idea, as she had often worked with same-sex pairings.

She also created a routine for Anton Du Beke and Judge Rob Rinder for a Grenfell Tower fundraiser.

Phillips left Strictly unexpectedly before the 2009 series and revealed last month she had launched an investigation relating to her dismissal.

Read more: Penny Lancaster: Rod joked he had 'lost' his wife when I was on Strictly

Speaking on the Sod’s Law podcast, she said: “I've got the Freedom of Information and looking at the chaotic way that led up to it was shocking. Most is redacted.

“There's some information there and even that's chaotic, let alone what was redacted from the report.”

However, she told The Sun she has now decided not to pursue the investigation as there are more important issues in the world, saying the coronavirus pandemic had “put it into perspective”.