Strictly has become more inclusive and diverse over its 16-year run, but there is one important LGBTQ+ move that it has only just addressed.
Strictly Come Dancing is a camp fest of colour, costumes and cha cha chas (take it from a journalist who spent every weekend staying in to watch and report on the latest series). It ‘s been one of the BBC’s most popular TV shows for the last 16 years. And, after broadcaster, writer and friend of Stylist Stacey Dooley won the Glitterball Trophy last year, it’s probably not too bold a claim to say that Strictly has gained some cool credentials.
Over the years, the dance competition has also championed diversity. Although it’s no secret that the BBC is predominantly white, middle-class and male, Strictly perhaps proves that changes are slowly but surely being made. This includes inviting a diverse selection contestants of different races, social classes, physical abilities, sexual orientations and ages to take part in the show.
But, one significant LGBTQ+ move that Strictly’s dancers, contestants and fans alike have pushed for, has only just been addressed by the BBC.
Last year, same -sex professional dancers performed together during one of the show’s opening dances. But, when it comes to pairing celebrity contestants with professional partners, there has never been a same-sex couple.
Judge Craig Revel-Horwood, former contestant Dr Ranj Singh and dancer Anton Du Beke have all spoken out about this issue before.
Now, the BBC has said that it is open to changing this in next year’s series.
In a statement to The Metro, a spokesperson for the BBC said: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.
“We are completely open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”
It shouldn’t have taken this long for this decision to be made, but it is positive news about future series. Speaking of which, the launch episode for series 17 airs on Saturday 7 September, so get your sequins and salsa shoes at the ready.