Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman has said older viewers of the BBC series might be put off by same-sex pairings.
Strictly Come Dancing won praise from fans for the long overdue decision – but not everyone is happy.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Goodman said he would only have mixed-gender couples on the show if he had his way.
“A lot of older people are traditionalists – they used to go ballroom dancing and most people’s nans and grandads met probably in a dance hall,” the former judge, who quit the show in 2016, said.
“The older viewers have their certain traditional ways about it all so might not be sure.
“But look – I suppose the good thing is that most older people I don’t think vote, so it won’t matter much in that way.”
He insisted that, if he were calling the shots, Strictly Come Dancing would only feature mixed gender couples.
If it was down to me, it would be men and woman and all the men would be in tall-suits.
“They did it on Dancing on Ice, didn’t they – they had two guys dancing – so I suppose it’s the way the world goes, things progress and things change,” he said, referring to Ian ‘H’ Watkins’ appearance on the last season of the ITV series.
“But you’ve got to understand I’m an old fuddy-duddy ballroom dancer so if it was down to me, it would be men and woman and all the men would be in tall-suits, but I know it wouldn’t work.
“We’ll see – it will be interesting in the same way it was on Dancing on Ice, it’ll be interesting to see.”
Nicola Adams’ Strictly Come Dancing partner leaked.
The new season of Strictly will kick off on October 24, with lesbian boxer Adams rumoured to be paired up with professional dancer Katya Jones.
Speaking in September, Adams praised the BBC for finally introducing a same-sex dance pairing after years of pressure from queer viewers, saying it was a “big step” for the broadcaster.
“It’s nice to see that we’re able to move on. I just can’t wait to get some dancing done really,” she told BBC Breakfast.
“It’s definitely time for change, it’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction.
“It will be nice for the LGBT+ community to be able to see that they have same-sex couples on the show as well.”