Ian “H” Watkins has said he does not want to be treated any differently to a “traditional” couple when he debuts on Dancing On Ice as part of the show’s first same-sex pairing.
The Steps star said the “world has changed” and the country is ready to see two men skating together on the popular ITV show.
The 43-year-old spoke to the PA news agency at the series launch at Bovingdon Airfield, Hertfordshire.
Watkins, who will perform with professional skater Matt Evers, suggested they were planning to skate to a love song.
He said: “I don’t want to be treated any differently to a traditional couple. If we want to dance or skate to a love song then so be it. Why not?
“The world has changed. The reaction that Matt and I have had has been incredible – the outpouring of affection, of love and support – and long may it continue.
“We are doing something that has never been done before, so we are finding our feet.
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) December 9, 2019
“Matt has never been paired with a guy before. He has always been the one to take the lead or do the lifting.
“But now, even he is like, ‘Oh, how do I hold you there? Maybe you can lift me here?’
“We are learning along the way.”
Watkins said he had previously auditioned for a TV show but was turned down when he asked to perform in a same-sex couple.
He said: “I did a show a long time ago where it was a contestant-based show, and I asked for a male partner and they said no at the time.
“So I am really pleased and I am proud of the network. ITV are literally taking it by the horns and going, ‘Yeah, let’s celebrate this’.
“Any visibility has a positive effect. Let’s embrace, encourage and support.”
Watkins will be joined on the 2020 edition of DOI by celebrities including businesswoman Caprice Bourret, TV presenter Trisha Goddard, magician Ben Hanlin, former professional footballer Kevin Kilbane and newsreader Lucrezia Millarini.