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Judge Rinder invited to appear on Strictly Come Dancing with a same-sex partner

Emma Powys Maurice February 19, 2020
Rob Rinder

Rob Rinder on Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 (YouTube/BBC)

The gay barrister and TV personality Rob Rinder has been offered a same-sex dance on Strictly Come Dancing‘s upcoming Christmas special.

The prime time ballroom dancing show has made tentative steps towards LGBT+ inclusivity with one professional same-sex dance, but has yet to introduce one in the actual competition.

As Dancing on Ice storms ahead with Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers‘ incredible same-sex skating duo, Strictly is still dragging its feet, with Waktins reportedly being told: “The BBC doesn’t do that, it’s not us.”

But according to Rob Rinder, they may be getting just a teensy bit closer.

“I was offered next year’s Christmas special with a same-sex dancer,” he told OK! magazine. “I’d do anything. I’ve danced on stage with Anton du Beke for a Grenfell Tower benefit.

“Ultimately a same-sex couple is inevitable,” he added.

Rinder, 41, finished in fifth place during the 14th series of Strictly in 2016, but he had to dance with a female partner, Oksana.

While he’s now happy to be offered a male dance partner, he has previously expressed his annoyance at people asking him if he thinks same-sex dances should be included on the show.

Speaking to Lorraine Kelly in 2017, he said: “It’s a perfectly reasonable question, I completely understand why people are asking it. It was the first question I was asked by everybody.

“First of all, it’s a sport,” he continued. “Nobody was asking me to get married to my partner, or to engage in any sort of… geography with her. They wanted me to dance with her.

“I don’t think it’s going to make any difference to the life of any young person – and there are a lot of young people that find it very difficult to come out in the LGBTQI community – if she dances with an almost straight woman.

“But there are amazing charities that do need our assistance, whether she dances with a man or not is going to make no difference to anybody.”

More: BBC, dancing on ice, Rob Rinder, Strictly Come Dancing

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