'Strictly Come Dancing' announces second all-male partnership with Richie Anderson
Strictly Come Dancing is set to feature its second ever all-male partnership in the 2022 series with contestant Richie Anderson.
The radio and TV presenter was the third celebrity to be announced for the new series cast and confirmed on Friday that he would be dancing with a man.
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Anderson, a Strictly superfan, said: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!
"Strictly is the ultimate feel good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism. I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand.
"It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.”
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The 2021 series saw the show's first all-male partnership with former Bake Off winner John Whaite and pro dancer Johannes Radebe, who were runners up in the final.
Radebe has spoken about how the partnership helped him to be more open with his mum about his sexuality, saying: "I knew that when I told her about the partnership, she said, 'oh, you're dancing with a man?' I said, 'Yes, Mummy, I'm dancing with a man and his name is John.'
"There was this awkward silence and she was like, ok. I think like everyone else she was waiting to see how it played out because she's such a traditionalist and I remember our first Tango, she called me and was like, 'that was brilliant'. It has been special."
In 2020, the BBC One contest included its first same-sex partnership with Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, although they had to bow out early after positive COVID tests.
Strictly had been under pressure for a number of years to include same-sex partnerships, which now look set to be a regular feature of the cast.
Anderson is a former Sunday League footballer who highlighted the issue of homophobia in the sport for The One Show in 2018, where he came out as gay to his teammates following playing a match.
He is known for presenting the travel bulletins on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Zoe Ball, an ex-Strictly contestant and former host of the spin-off show It Takes Two.
In May he travelled to Turin to cover the Eurovision Song Contest for Radio 2 and he is also a regular presenter on The One Show, and was part of BBC One’s recent Platinum Jubilee coverage.
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