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Film and TV

Graham Norton insists it ‘isn’t homophobic’ if BBC bosses don’t include two men dancing on Strictly

Josh Milton September 30, 2020
Graham Norton

Graham Norton on December 4, 2018 in London, England. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty)

Graham Norton questioned the inclusion of a same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing, saying he does not “particularly need to see a man dancing with a man”.

Norton, who is not a professionally trained dancer, doubted whether two men dancing can be judged by the same criteria as a mixed-sex couple.

Strictly legend Anton du Beke rebuked such concerns last year, saying that for professionally trained dancers, “this is not a thing for us”.

“We just dance.”

It was revealed earlier this month that lesbian boxer Nicola Adams would be the first celebrity to compete on the show with a same-sex partner. 

Graham Norton questions how Strictly Come Dancing‘s same-sex pairings will be judged. 

“As you have people who can be openly gay on that show, I don’t ­particularly need to see a man dancing with a man,” Norton, 57, told Best magazine.

While he said the move by BBC bosses came from a “good place”, the television personality questioned whether a same-sex couple might “muddy the waters” when it came to judging.

“If you’ve got two partners who can do lifts and men’s bodies are different shapes, how would that work?” he asked.

“I don’t think it’s a homophobic thing. You want to be able to compare like with like.”

In response to similar complaints levelled by, well, homophobes, the BBC said that the history-making move to have the Olympic gold medal-winning boxer join the show is one that no amount of complaints will stop.

The broadcaster said in a statement: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

“We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

“Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate.

“The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.”

More: BBC, Graham Norton, Nicola Adams, Strictly, Strictly Come Dancing

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