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Strictly bosses reportedly looking to cast two same-sex couples in upcoming series

Nicola Adams and Katya Jones and John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are the only same-sex couples to have competed on the show.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: BBC

Producers of BBC 1’s Strictly Come Dancing are looking to cast two same-sex couples in the upcoming series, according to reports.

The Sun reports that there are hopes for an all-female and an all-male couple in the 2022 series.

It follows the trails blazed by Nicola Adams and Katya Jones in 2020 and John Whaite and Johannes Radebe last year.

A source has told The Sun: “It was clear from audience feedback that fans wanted to see celebrities competing with a partner of the same sex if that was their preference. And the bosses have been very mindful of that for this series.

“After an all-female pairing and an all-male pairing, this year they were keen to have both. The thinking is that same-sex pairings will be very much part of Strictly in the future,” the source continues. 

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams was the first contestant to enter a same-sex pairing in 2020 when she danced with Katya Jones. However the two had to drop out early after testing positive for Covid. 

Bake Off’s John Whaite picked up the LGBTQ torch last year when he competed with Johannes Radebe, making history as the first all-gay pairing on the show. 

Despite making it to the final, inspiring millions along the way, the two were ultimately beaten to the Glitterball trophy by deaf actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and her dance partner Giovanni Pernice. 

Posting a heartfelt statement on Instagram after the finale John said: “I’m so proud to have been part of such a diverse, groundbreaking series of @bbcstrictly. What started life as an entertainment show has this year provided solace for so many outcasts. Whoever you may be, I pray you always have the heart to be kind, to be understanding and to love. It really is as simple as that.”

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A post shared by John Whaite (@john_whaite)

While both John and Nicola’s pairing attracted some criticism from those questioning the need for LGBTQ representation on a popular show, both received an overwhelming amount of support.

While appearing on the cover of Attitude last year John told us: “I knew that it was an important thing to do, that it was hopefully going to change the way TV is, change the way that children feel when they watch TV – it’s massive”.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.