TV

Olympic champion Nicola Adams will appear in Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple

Posted by
Anna Brech
Published
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

From the boxing ring to the dance floor, Olympic medallist Nicola Adams will star in Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple later this year.

Double Olympic champion Nicola Adams OBE will trade her boxing gloves for a pas de deux or two later this year as part of Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple. 

The world’s first female Olympic boxing medallist is on course to set yet another record, this time making the LGBTQ history books, by being paired with a female professional dancer in a groundbreaking move for the hit BBC show. 

You may also like

Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse on the book that helps her stay positive, even when times are tough

Bosses at Strictly Come Dancing, one of British TV’s most-watched programmes with over eight million viewers,  announced the news today.

It comes after Adams posted a cryptic tweet last night that read “the calm before the storm”, alongside a short video of herself working a few dance moves in a TikTok video.

“I wanted to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing,” the Olympian said today. “It’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the entertainment industry.”

Strictly Come Dancing producers said last year that they were “completely open” to the prospect of including same sex pairings on the show, in a notion supported by judge Craig Revel-Horwood, who remarked that “maybe the BBC will be brave enough one day to do it”.

“I think more and more people want it,” he told BBC News in 2018. “I think it would be rather fun.”

You may also like

“I got told to bleach my skin”: Alexandra Burke shares her experience of music industry racism

The BBC today unveiled more of the first celebrities to appear in this year’s show, which will be formatted slightly differently due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Radio 1’s Clara Amfo, ITV presenter Ranvir Singh, actor Caroline Quentin, former American football player Jason Bell and The Wanted singer Max George will all don their dancing shoes alongside Adams for the 2020 line-up. 

Men Behaving Badly star Quentin said: “I am thrilled and terrified in equal measure to be taking part.” Amfo said: “To be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can’t wait to fully embrace, see you on the dancefloor!”

Adams breezed her way to smashing a world record (and a fairly significant glass ceiling) at London 2012 when she claimed the first female Olympic boxing gold, a title she retained at the Rio Olympics four years later. 

Her win is credited with paving the way to a new reality for girls who are drawn to boxing, with new facilities and training programmes opening up as a result of her victory. 

It also sparked a fresh interest in women’s boxing. When Adams first starting training aged 12 she recalls being the only girl in the class and even her own trainer was reluctant to take her on. But the female boxing scene has progressed a lot since then, in large part thanks to the visibility that Adams has given the sport.

Nicola Adams will trade the boxing ring for the dance floor

Adams, who has been in a relationship with her beauty blogger girlfriend Ella Baig for two years,  is also hailed as a role model for the LGBTQ community.

“It would be nice to live in a world where you didn’t have to make that statement [about coming out],” the boxer told the Gay Times in a recent interview. “Straight people don’t have to. They don’t have to tell people, ‘By the way, I’m heterosexual’ and why should it be like that?”

“I didn’t mind, and still don’t, having that role model thing put on me,” she added. “I liked the idea that I might inspire people just by doing what I was doing and winning medals.”

You may also like

Nicola Adams announces retirement: “I didn’t let anyone deter me from my Olympic dream”

The bisexual boxer retired from professional sport late last year after her eye was damaged in a fight.

This year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing is likely to start in October and will run a shorter season due to coronavirus precautions, but rehearsals are already underway. We can’t wait…

Images: Getty

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Topics

Share this article

Author

Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

Recommended by Anna Brech

People

Davina McCall just got real about sexist ageism in 2020

The Masked Singer presenter is firmly of the belief that life is changing for women over 50.

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
Life

Dancing on Ice will make UK TV history with its first ever same sex pairing

It's about time, too.

Posted by
Megan Murray
Published
People

Tess Daly is sick and tired of having to defend her right to work past 50

“It’s sad that in this day and age women are still judged on their age,” says Strictly’s Tess Daly

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

Rachel Riley offers up refreshing new perspective on the “Strictly Curse”

Many blame Strictly Come Dancing for ending relationships, but Riley has praised it for giving her the “emotional distance” to “break away” from her ex-husband.

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published