Graham Norton says sorry after 'Strictly' same-sex couple remark

Graham Norton attending the 73rd British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Graham Norton attending the 73rd British Academy Film Awards. (PA)

Graham Norton has apologised for all the kerfuffle after he was quoted as saying that same-sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing could make judging difficult.

This year’s series will see former Olympic boxer Nicola Adams become part of the first all-female pair on the BBC show, following a long campaign for the dance contest to feature a same-sex couple.

It was reported that Norton had questioned the need for it, but he has now explained that the story stemmed from a “throwaway comment” to a journalist.

Read more: Strictly dancers who test positive for COVID-19 will be disqualified

The TV star was quoted as telling Best magazine: “As you have people who can be openly gay on that show, I don’t ­particularly need to see a man dancing with a man.

“I understand the reason the Strictly bosses might do it is coming from a good place, but it does kind of muddy the waters for the judges. If you’ve got two partners who can do lifts and men’s bodies are different shapes, how would that work?

“I don’t think it’s a homophobic thing. You want to be able to compare like with like.”

However, he has now set the record straight on Twitter, sharing a link to a story about his remark and writing: “Oh God. This is entirely my own fault.

“Ages ago gave a throwaway comment to a journalist who wanted me to slag off Strictly. Clever clogs remembered and now look!!

Watch: Here’s who’s taking part in Strictly 2020

“So sorry.

“Big up @NicolaAdamsOBE and her partner!!”

The chat show host continued: “And to people messaging me to say they agree - please stop.

“Everyone dancing on that show brings pure joy. Let’s all enjoy a beautiful thing.”

Last year’s series of Strictly saw professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Palma become the first men to dance together on the show.

Their performance sparked 200 complaints to broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

It was announced earlier this year that Adams would be part of the first same-sex couple.

Strictly is following in the footsteps of ITV skating competition Dancing On Ice, which saw Steps singer Ian “H” Watkins partnered with professional skater Matt Evers earlier this year.

Watch: Diane Abbott turned down Strictly