After calls by many to feature same-sex couples on this year's Strictly Come Dancing, it seems the show's bosses have finally decided to make a welcome change to the 2018 series – since it's thought that the professional dancers will in fact dance in same-sex pairings throughout the show's run. A report from The Sun has revealed that favourites Pasha Kovalev and AJ Pritchard with dance together, as will Karen Clifton and another female professional. Exciting! The move is part of a plan to pave the way for celebrity contestants to dance with a same-sex partner in future series, reportedly.
Strictly's professionals will first partner up in same-sex couples
The change has been a long time coming, with many former Strictly stars, current contestants and even the judges agreeing it would be a positive move. Amongst the more outspoken has been one of this year's signings, This Morning medic Dr Ranj, who told The Mirror: "I would love to dance with a same-sex partner. I would value a time when same sex couples could dance on shows like Strictly. It is incredibly important."
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Judge Craig Revel Horwood addressed the issue back in 2017, agreeing he would whole-heartedly champion the idea. During an appearance on Lorraine, he said: "I think same-sex couples can exist, you only have to decide who's going to go backwards really, don't you. That's the only difference."
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Quizzed by host Lorraine Kelly as to whether it was likely to happen soon, he replied: "I hope so. I really hope so. In the world of competition there are same-sex couples that do it as well, so there is no reason why that can't happen. It's just, I guess, the Beeb have to decide whether they want to do that one year, and I think it'll probably happen next year."
2018 cast members AJ Pritchard and Dr Ranj
The 52-year-old added: "When you consider the tango was originally danced between two men anyway. It's amazing – seeing Argentine Tango between two men is powerful and explosive and the same can happen between two women. There's nothing wrong, I mean you can get married now, can't you? It's great to celebrate anyone's sexuality. And, as you say, it's not just about sex, it's about dancing."