Ian ‘H’ Watkins would ‘have bowed out’ of Dancing on Ice if he wasn’t allowed to skate with a guy
Dancing on Ice star Ian ‘H’ Watkins has revealed he would have “bowed out” of the show if producers said no to his idea to skate with another man.
Gliding into millions of televisions screens up and down the UK, Watkins and partner Matt Evers became the first-ever same-sex dance pairing to hit the competition.
The former member of Steps pushed for a same-sex pairing since he was cast in the 2020 series, which begins in January.
He and Evers gave viewers a taste of what’s to come during Dancing On Ice‘s Christmas special earlier this month, but this moment nearly didn’t happen.
Ian ‘H’ Watkins: ‘I’m so proud to be part of this show on ITV that champions the LGBTQ community.’
“If they had actually offered me a female partner I would have bowed out and said, ‘You know what, this is so important to me, so it’s not for me’,” he told Attitude.
He added: “I said this is what I want. I didn’t tell them that if I didn’t get it I wouldn’t do the show.
— Dancing on Ice (@dancingonice) December 22, 2019
“If they had come back to me with the answer and paired me up with a female, at that point I would have said no.”
Watkins explained that the producers were mute at first, given that they likely penciled in meetings and coffee chats to decide whether to go ahead with the move.
“I didn’t think I got the gig,” he said, “you don’t hear for a few good few months.
“But as soon as they get the green light – because it goes right up to the head executive at ITV.
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“Luckily they were completely on board and I’m so proud to be part of this show on ITV that champions the LGBTQ community, it’s just incredible.”
‘If I had seen something like this, maybe I wouldn’t have been so screwed up,’ says Steps star.
Watkins later reflected on just how monumental the move to have a same-sex couple on the show will be for further generations of queer folk.
“For little young boys and girls, to see this on television, I didn’t have that growing up.
“If I had seen something like this, maybe I wouldn’t have been so screwed up, maybe I wouldn’t have grown up feeling so lonely and isolated.
“My children are going to be growing up watching their dad dancing with his prince, you know? It’s so important for visibility and all of those things, I think.
Dancing on Ice is set to return to screens on January 5 at 6pm on ITV.