Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli hits back at complaints over same-sex dance

Isobel Frodsham
'Ludicrous': Bruno Tonioli has spoken out about the racism accusations: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Bruno Tonioli has hit back after nearly 200 viewers complained about Strictly Come Dancing's first ever same-sex dance.

Professionals Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima made history when they danced together during a results show earlier this month.

While the routine won tremendous praise, it has now been revealed that the BBC received 189 complaints about the dance from viewers.

Addressing the criticism on Twitter, the 63-year-old judge branded the situation "very sad."

'Ludicrous': Bruno Toniolihas spoken out about the racism accusations (Gareth Cattermole/Getty)

He wrote: “It's hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other... I just don't know what to say..."

In a statement, the BBC added: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the Professionals’ dance.

"They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine.”

TV watchdog Ofcom told Standard Online that they have received one complaint about the dance and advise viewers to contact the BBC first.

Radebe – who was partnered with Catherine Tyldesley until they were voted out three weeks ago – previously discussed how "liberated" he felt during the performance.

He told Hello magazine: “For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country.

“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous.

​"There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”


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