AJ Pritchard wants same-sex dance partner on Strictly Come Dancing

Nick Duffy March 7, 2019
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AJ Pritchard attends the National Television Awards held at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2019 in London, England.

AJ Pritchard wants a same-sex dance partner on Strictly Come Dancing. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard would like to be part of the show’s first same-sex dance pairing.

The dance reality show has long faced calls to open up to same-sex dance couples, but the BBC has insisted on sticking to a “traditional” format of male-female pairings.

However, professional dancer AJ Pritchard said that he would be up for dancing with a male celebrity on the show’s upcoming 17th season.

AJ Pritchard ‘100%’ wants same-sex dance partner

Speaking to MailOnline on Wednesday (March 6), he said: “If they do decide to finally do same-sex partners on Strictly this year I 100 percent want to be the pro to do it.

“If it’s going to be anyone [in a same-sex pairing], I’d like it to be me.”

Several celebrities have said they would like to dance on the show with same-sex partners, including Years & Years singer Olly Alexander and comedian David Walliams.

Pritchard hinted: “I guess it all depends on who the celebrity contestants are this year… so I think we have to wait and see.”

AJ Pritchard attends the World Premiere of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at SSE Arena Wembley on October 23, 2018 in London, England
AJ Pritchard spoke about his sexuality and “love” for gay people in 2018. (Jeff Spicer/Getty)

The dancer predicted that audiences would be on board with the change, adding: “But if same-sex partnerships do happen it’s going to be so captivating. And I am very open to it.

“People enjoy seeing bodies moving, [gender] doesn’t matter.”

Pritchard addressed his own sexuality in an interview with Gay Times magazine in December.

Strictly Come Dancing sticks to ‘traditional’ format

The BBC has been resistant to including same-sex couples on Strictly.

Ahead of the 2018 series, 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.”

However, the Strictly Come Dancing judges are in favour of a change.

Craig Revel Horwood has long been a supporter of permitting same-sex dance couples on the show, while head judge Shirley Ballas also backed the change in 2018 after the Italian version of the show featured a same-sex dance couple.

Ballas said: “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!”

More: AJ Pritchard, Dance, Gay, reality, same-sex dance, Strictly Come Dancing, Television

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