Nicola Adams’ historic Strictly Come Dancing pairing revealed ahead of groundbreaking dancefloor debut
Nicola Adams’ Strictly Come Dancing partner is 2017 winner Katya Jones, according to reports.
The lesbian athlete is set to make history as part of the show’s first same-sex dance pairing when the BBC show returns on October 17.
Preparations have already begun for the show, with celebrities and professional dancers forming bubbles to comply with social distancing rules, but the allocated pairings are yet to be publicly revealed.
However, Adams was pictured leaving a filming location on Tuesday morning (October 6) alongside professional dancer Jones. The two appeared to be the only cast members who were present, effectively confirming their pairing.
Jones has been part of Strictly since 2016, and her previous celebrity pairings on the show include Joe McFadden – with whom she clinched the Glitterball trophy in 2017 – and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls.
In 2018 she danced with comedian Seann Walsh, and made headlines after she was caught sharing a kiss with him. Jones later separated from her husband, fellow Strictly pro Neil Jones.
Nicola Adams and Katya Jones Strictly pairing came after boxer demanded a female partner.
The dancer has previously said she would like to be part of a same-sex pairing, telling the Sunday Mirror: “I would love to dance with a woman on the show. I think creatively it would be really interesting and I love coming up with new ideas for stuff.”
Adams recently revealed she told producers that dancing as part of a same-sex pairing was “non-negotiable” for her.
She explained: “They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but I want to dance with another female’.
“It’s really important. It’s a big step for the show as well. It’s nice to see we’re able to move on. I can’t wait to get some dancing done.”
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BBC has already had complaints about Strictly same-sex pairing
Before the Olympian has even stepped onto the dance floor, complaints have already been rolling in.
Responding to the flood of complaints about the pairing, the broadcaster said: “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.”
The shift is a departure for the programme, which has in previous years insisted on applying a “traditional” ballroom approach that requires male-female pairings — even though same-sex pairings are common at many ballroom competitions.