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Strictly's Len Goodman reveals concerns over show's first same-sex couple

The former head judge thinks older viewers will be put off

Jenni McKnight

Len Goodman has voiced his concerns over Strictly's decision to finally have a same-sex couple in this year's line-up.

The former head judge admitted that partnering up boxer Nicola Adams OBE with a female dancer, reported to be Katya Jones, will deter older viewers from watching the show.

MORE: Graham Norton clarifies Strictly same-sex couples comment

"A lot of older people are traditionalists – they used to go ballroom dancing and most people's nans and grandads met probably in a dance hall," he told Mail On Sunday.

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"The older viewers have their certain traditional ways about it all so might not be sure. But look – I suppose the good thing is that most older people I don't think vote, so it won't matter much in that way."

Despite this, Len admitted that if it were up to him, two women would not be dancing together because it should be "men and women".

"They did it on Dancing On Ice didn't they – they had two guys dancing — so I suppose it's the way the world goes, things progress and things change," he said.

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Len Goodman quit Strictly in 2016

"But you've got to understand, I'm an old fuddy-duddy ballroom dancer so if it was down to me it would be men and women and all the men would be in tail-suits, but I know it wouldn't work.

"We'll see - it will be interesting in the same way it was on Dancing On Ice, it'll be interesting to see."

When it was announced that Nicola will be part of the first-ever all-female Strictly pairing, she praised the BBC for their decision.

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Nicola Adams will form part of Strictly's first same-sex couple

"I also wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing; and it's amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry."

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the double gold medal winner explained how the same-sex partnership came about: "I asked the show about it, 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.'"

Nicola added: "It's really important, it's a big step for the show, it's nice to see that we're able to move on, and I just can't wait to get some dancing done."

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