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Strictly's Bruno Tonioli reacts after same-sex dance receives almost 200 complaints

Strictly's Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed the show's first ever same-sex routine

bruno tonioli
Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
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Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has expressed his disappointment after it was revealed on Thursday that the BBC received almost 200 complaints after Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed the first-ever same-sex dance on the show last month. According to the channel, the most complaints they received this month were about their dance, as 189 viewers protested to the routine. Addressing the criticism on Twitter, the 63-year-old wrote: "It's hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other... I just don't know what to say..."

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Bruno was lost for words over the complaints 

In a statement responding to the complaints, the BBC added: "Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the Professionals’ dance. They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine."

Last month, Johannes and Graziano made history by performing in the first dance to feature two male professionals performing together. Speaking to HELLO! about the dance, Johannes said: "I've never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country. To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous. There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant."

strictly same sex dance© Photo: BBC

Johannes and Graziano performed the first-ever same-sex dance

Last year, the BBC show saw the professionals perform the first group same-sex routine. In August, BBC bosses hinted that Strictly will allow same-sex couples next year. The BBC said it was "completely open" to having them, "should the opportunity arise".

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The BBC received nearly 200 complaints over the dance

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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." He 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."

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