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Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins has spoken to Dancing on Ice producers about casting the show’s first-ever trans contestant

Patrick Kelleher September 8, 2020
Steps singer Ian H Watkins same-sex Dancing on Ice routing with skater Matt Evers

Steps singer Ian H Watkins with Dancing on Ice skater Matt Evers. (ITV)

Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins has called on Dancing on Ice to break new ground by introducing a trans contestant during its next season.

Dancing on Ice made history in January when Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers became the show’s first ever same-sex pairing.

BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing will now follow suit, with lesbian boxer Nicola Adams set to dance with a woman in its upcoming run.

But Watkins has pointed out that LGBT+ diversity doesn’t end there, urging Dancing on Ice to cast its net even more diversely.

“Everyone knew it was going to be two girls on Strictly this year because we did it on Dancing on Ice last year,” Watkins told The Sun.

“I messaged the Dancing on Ice producers telling them they should get a trans contest.

“We need to embrace all of those minorities so we can become one whole fabulous community.”

Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins says representation can help end hate.

The Steps singer — who will make his musical comeback with the band’s sixth album, What the Future Holds, this year –  praised Strictly‘s decision to finally introduce a same-sex couple, saying LGBT+ representation on television can help stamp out discrimination.

“There’s some really f**king nasty people around,” he said. “The messages of hate are just still awful in this day and age.”

Fans were overjoyed in January when Dancing on Ice‘s debuted its first ever same-sex pairing, though their first dance garnered 16 complaints, which Watkins said were like a “dagger to the heart”.

He said: “The reaction was incredible – a lot of the comments were overwhelmingly supportive, but when people call you hideous names and say things like ‘it’s not natural’ or ‘you’re a faggot’, all of those awful names, for me, they’re a dagger in my heart.”

Watkins, who has twin sons with his partner Craig Ryder, continued: “I think the world has progressed and changed so much, but those kinds of people still exist and will come into contact with my children.

“And those bigots will breed more bigots and we’re bigger and better than that now, as a society. It’s changed so much, but there’s still a small minority that breeds negativity and it’s hideous.”

Watkins’ appearance on Dancing on Ice ramped up pressure on Strictly Come Dancing to introduce queer representation.

BBC producers announced on September 2 that lesbian boxer Adams will appear in the upcoming season as part of the show’s first ever same-sex pairing.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast to announce her involvement, Adams said it’s “a big step” for the show.

“It’s nice to see that we’re able to move on. I just can’t wait to get some dancing done really,” she said.

More: dancing on ice, Ian H Watkins, Nicola Adams, Strictly Come Dancing

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