Strictly dancer Aljaž Škorjanec wants to see same-sex couples on the show
Strictly Come Dancing star Aljaž Škorjanec has said he wants to see same-sex dance partners on the show.
The BBC earlier this year confirmed that they have no plans to introduce same-sex partners on the show.
A spokesperson confirmed that the prime time show would continue to follow a “traditional format” after fans and some contestants challenged the broadcaster’s decision.
“I’ve never actually spoken about it that much, but I’m always going to come in and do the best job I can,” Aljaž said in an interview with HuffPost UK.
“It doesn’t matter who it is or what sex they are.
“Strictly has been so successful because it has been the same for the last 14 years and the formula hasn’t changed, so we all trust the producers 100%.
“It’s one of the few shows on television that is done with a positive thought behind it. If they do decide to go down that road, it will be with the most positive intention, so we will follow their lead.
He continued: “Hopefully we will be there when it does happen.”
Gemma Atkinson, Skorjanec’s dance partner on the show, also weighed in, saying: “I’m not a pro dancer, but for Strictly to get any better, I don’t think that needs to happen – people know it’s 2017 and know people are in same-sex marriages and partnerships.
“I think putting two people on the dancefloor of the same sex isn’t going to wake people up any more. If it does, then there’s a problem. We should be open to that anyway.”
the BBC said back in August: “Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition.”
The clarification comes after openly gay Reverend Richard Coles argued that it made “no sense” to stop same-sex couples dancing together on the show.
Cole, who is one of 15 contestants on the show this year, has been paired to dance with Dianne Buswell.
Speaking to Digital Spy, he claimed he had “a discussion” about the prospect with execs.
He said: “It makes absolutely no sense that anybody resists the idea, in principle.
“It’s just a question of doing it. I think this year would be a good year to do it actually, with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act (which decriminalised sex between two men aged more than 21).”
Scottish comedian and out lesbian Susan Calman is also set to appear on the competition show this year.
Yesterday she defended her decision to dance with a man despite considering the prospect of dancing with a woman.
“I did think about dancing with a woman, but from the very first moment when I was asked about the show I said I wanted to dance with a man,” she said.
She insisted that she had “worked tirelessly for LGBT equality” her whole life but “right now I would like to dance and bring entertainment to people by dancing on a Saturday night”.
She said that her decision to dance with a male partner was hers and it was powerful for her to be able to appear on the show in the first place as an openly lesbian woman.
“I think politically, there’s nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife’s on the front row, doing what she wants to do.”
“For the gay community to criticise me and try to get me what they want to do is, I think, as difficult as suggesting the straight community are trying to.
“No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance,” Calman added.