Dancing on Ice’s historic same-sex pairing was so moving it brought John Barrowman to tears
Dancing on Ice returned to our screens last night with a historic same-sex pairing, and the moment was so perfect it moved gay judge John Barrowman to tears.
The reality show made TV history as it introduced its first-ever competitive pairing between two gay men, Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins and pro skater Matt Evers.
With huge grins on their faces the duo skated to Panic! At The Disco‘s ‘High Hopes,’ the song choice hinting at exciting things to come from the new series.
New judge John Barrowman could be seen welling up as the pair glided across the rink together. After the performance he explained just how significant it was to a gay man like himself.
— Dancing On Ice (@DOI_UK_) January 5, 2020
Tears streaking down his face, he said: “I am [emotional]. That makes me happy on a compete multitude of levels just because of seeing two men who represent someone who is like me, and to skate as well as you did, you’ve done it now, the nerves are out of the way.
“You’ve shown that two men can perform and skate together. It doesn’t have to be what you did before with the man/woman thing…you know, man/man, switch it up, do it different ways.
“Be versatile, you know what I’m saying? Listen… I’m overwhelmed. I’m almost speechless. It was wonderful.”
It was also a huge moment for Watkins’ skating partner Evers, a Dancing on Ice regular who for the past 11 seasons had been paired with women.
“I’ve wanted this for so long, and it means so much to so many people…and the world is ready for this,” he said.
“I just have to say, thank you to the network, thank you to ITV and thank you to everybody at home who is accepting of this because this is normal!”
Watkins later posted on Instagram: “WE DID IT!!!!!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE for your messages of love and support! I’m totally gobsmacked! But tonight’s skate was bigger than Matt & I… it was a message of equality and inclusion! Let it resound across the world!”
Viewers were thrilled by the “outstanding” performance and took to Twitter to congratulate the pair.
Outstanding H and Matt, The two of you dancing together was so beautiful and moved me to tears. A massive congratulations to you both, you’ve made history. Excited about seeing more from you both.
— Elaine Thompson (@elainet69) January 5, 2020
Great routine, well done to H & Matt. Only the 1st week but you can see it’s going to be a top pairing, so much potential 👏😘⛸
— Kath Wilson (@katsitter) January 5, 2020
— Steven Corfield (@StevenCorfield_) January 6, 2020
Thank you for making history, long overdue and an amazing routine xxx
— Tina Berry (@TBer1313) January 5, 2020
Brilliant brilliant brilliant xx Two of my fave people dancing together makes me so happy 😘 Going to have to dig out my ice skates and get back on the ice 🧊#awesome
— CarltonHouse Vintage (@CarltonVintage) January 5, 2020
The whole routine sent out such a positive messages,the dancing plus the music I absolutely loved it!!! 😊❤️ Think they should of been scored higher!!!
— Lorraine Saunders (@lozzys2014) January 6, 2020
Thank you Dancing on Ice for bringing the true reality to our TV screens. Well done to Ian and Matt.
— Mrs pat wenham (@Mrspatwenham) January 5, 2020
What a great night x for all the people who felt it was wrong for same sex couples they showed you how wrong you are…… it didn’t matter, Ian and Matt are just two dancers, dancing on ice as a couple and it was amazing x x
— Anita (@Blue24_3) January 6, 2020