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."
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."