BBC denies dropping TV star from Strictly after he asked for a same-sex partner
The BBC has refuted a claim by a television star who said he was blocked from appearing on Strictly Come Dancing after he requested a male dance partner.
CJ de Mooi, who has starred in the Eggheads game show, has claimed he was snubbed by the programme after he said he wanted a same-sex dance partner.
In a front page interview with the Daily Mirror to be published tomorrow, de Mooi says it is “disappointing” that Radio 2 and fellow Eggheads star Jeremy Vine was selected for the show.
The BBC has refuted the claim, however, saying de Mooi’s agent approached Strictly to offer him for the show, but that he had never been under consideration.
A BBC spokesperson told PinkNews that producers had hoped to get Jeremy Vine for the show, and are pleased that he will feature in the upcoming series.
The spokesperson said: “We didn’t ever approach nor did we have any plans to approach CJ to participate in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. CJ’s agent gave us the opportunity to consider him but there was only one person we ever wanted from Eggheads and that was Jeremy Vine and we are delighted that we got our man.”
Despite this, the issue of same-sex dance partners has been an ongoing controversy on the show.
Judge Craig Revel Horwood previously confirmed changes will take place in the next two seasons to remove the gender rules – but now doubts that will happen until at least 2016.
Amid controversy over the issue, Olympic gymnast Louis Smith – who took the crown on the series back in 2012 – spoke out in favour.
He told the Mirror: “I don’t see nothing wrong with that. Ballroom dancing has rules – like you can’t do lifts in the waltz unless its an American Smooth, and things like that, and you get penalised.
“And I don’t know what the rules are in the ballroom world about that sort of thing.
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“But if it’s allowed, why not? Mix it up a little bit!”
However, not everybody agrees.
Former Strictly dancer James Jordan caused controversy by saying that having a same sex couple dancing on the show would be “wrong” because “they would lose so many viewers.”
He went on: “I have nothing against same-sex couples, if they want to go and do their own competitions.
“But ballroom and Latin dancing is about a man dancing with a woman – that’s fact.”
Although when his wife, current Strictly dancer Ola Jordan was asked if she agreed with him, she said flatly “no”.