AJ Pritchard wants same-sex dance partner on Strictly Come Dancing
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.”
Pritchard hinted: “I guess it all depends on who the celebrity contestants are this year… so I think we have to wait and see.”
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.
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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!”