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BBC Radio 2’s Richie Anderson joins Strictly Come Dancing in same-sex couple

"This is a dream come true!" the presenter says.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: BBC

BBC Radio 2’s Richie Anderson will be performing in an all-male dance pairing in the 2023 series of Strictly Come Dancing.

The radio and TV presenter, who identifies as gay, was confirmed as the third celebrity to join the popular BBC entertainment show. 

“This is a dream come true!” Richie says. “I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world! Strictly is the ultimate feel good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.”

Continuing he says, “I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand. It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.”

Sharing Strictly’s announcement Richie writes: “Can’t believe I’m typing this 🥺 I’M GOING TO BE ON STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022 💃🏻🕺🎩🌈🪩” before adding, “Good luck to my pro partner as my dancing skills have previously been compared to Bambi on ice 😂 bring it on 💥”

Richie is a Royal Television Society award-winning presenter and perhaps best known for his travel bulletins role on BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show as well as hosting a wide variety of his own shows.

He covered the Eurovision Song Contest from Turin for Radio 2  and is also a regular presenter on The One Show. It was in a film for the One Show looking at homophobia in sports that Richie came out to his Sunday league football teammates.

Richie will be following in the glittery trail blazed by John Whaite, who made Strictly history last year as one-half of the show’s first-ever same-sex dance pairing featuring a celebrity.

He was partnered with Johannes Radebe, and together they made it all the way to the grand finale. Ultimately they were pipped to the glitterball trophy by deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice.

They in turn came a year after the show’s first-ever same-sex pairing – Olympic boxer, Nicola Adams, and Katya Jones. Sadly they had to pull out midway through the competition due to Covid.  

Both couples were celebrated for representing the LGBTQ community on screen. At the same time, both couples also saw people questioning their validity as pairings and even the necessity, as well as some who directed vile, homophobic abuse at the couples.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.