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Dancing on Ice ‘open’ to same-sex couples, says Jason Gardiner

Nick Duffy December 31, 2018
Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner

Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner

Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner has said the show is open to same-sex pairings.

The out choreographer, who has been a judge on the ITV reality ice skating series since its launch in 2006, told Digital Spy he would “embrace” a change to the show’s format.

Dancing on Ice contestants are traditionally paired with a professional dancer of the opposite sex, as also happens on BBC dancing show Strictly Come Dancing.

Strictly bosses have rebuffed suggestions that same-sex pairings should also be permitted, but Gardiner hinted that there was less resistance on the ITV show.

Dancing on Ice could feature same-sex dance couples

He said: “If people were open to it, and I don’t see why we wouldn’t be, I’m sure ITV would have no problem with embracing that.

“I think it would be great if we had a same-sex couple.”

However, Gardiner added that same-sex couples could present a new technical challenge for the dancers themselves.

The 2018 cast of Dancing on Ice
The 2018 cast of Dancing on Ice

He said: “Where it gets difficult is in terms of content, because what works with the male female ratio is, generally speaking, the male is taller than the female.

“So therefore a female, slighter, would be able to be lifted. When you’ve got two men, generally about the same build or shape, height, that’s where it starts getting a bit difficult…”

“We would then find it would be a new way of having to look at how we present that. And that’s a challenge.

“That would be a challenge for the show to overcome. But I would welcome it, absolutely I would.”

The show is set to launch its eleventh series on January 6, though all contestants have been paired with opposite-sex dancers for the upcoming run.

Strictly Come Dancing sticks to ‘traditional’ opposite-sex format

The BBC reality dance show has come under repeated fire over its reluctance to allow same-sex pairings in the contest, although they are more common in the professional dance world.

Ahead of Strictly Come Dancing 2018, a spokesperson said: “Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples.”

Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples.”

— BBC spokesperson

The confirmation comes despite vocal support from several of the show’s judges.

Head judge Shirley Ballas said earlier this year: “They’re just about to have the final of the Italian version of Strictly, and I was just informed that a same-sex couple, two men, made the final, so I will be following that.

“I think things are changing, and I couldn’t think of anything more exciting. I’m for it!”

Judge Craig Revel Horwood has long been a supporter of permitting same-sex dance couples on the show.

More: Dancing, dancing on ice, Gay, ITV, Television

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