BBC responds to complaints over 'Strictly Come Dancing's first same-sex pairing

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Nicola Adams attending the National Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards 2019 held at the London Palladium. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Nicola Adams attending the National Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards 2019 held at the London Palladium. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

The BBC has backed its decision to include a same-sex pairing in the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing after receiving complaints on the show first.

Boxer Nicola Adams will be the first contestant on the programme to be partnered with a professional dancer of the same sex, something which both she and the BBC have said was her choice.

Revealing they had received complaints on the inclusion of a same-sex couple, the broadcaster said the sex of the participants "should have no bearing on their routine".

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The BBC's response on the complaints website read: "Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and 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.

"Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine."

Yahoo News UK has contacted Adams’ representatives for comment.

In an appearance on BBC Breakfast after being announced for the line-up, the Olympic medal winner said: "I think it's really important.

"It's definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction."

Johannes Radebe made Strictly history in a routine with fellow professional Graziano di Prima in 2019. (BBC / Guy Levy)
Johannes Radebe made Strictly history in a routine with fellow professional Graziano di Prima in 2019. (BBC / Guy Levy)

Adams' dance partner is yet to be revealed.

While it will be the first competing same-sex partnership on the show, last year saw two professional male dancers perform together in a routine.

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The dance between Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima was said to have received almost 200 complaints.

The BBC subsequently issued a statement noting Strictly "is an inclusive show" and that it was "proud to have been able to facilitate" the performance between the two men.