Strictly judge votes for same-sex dancers

Tele­vi­sion: Shirley Bal­las ex­cited by prospect for fu­ture shows

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY SHERNA NOAH

Strictly Come Danc­ing’s head judge Shirley Bal­las has said she “couldn’t think of any­thing more ex­cit­ing” than hav­ing a same-sex cou­ple take part in the show.

The BBC has pre­vi­ously said there are “no plans” to change its mixed-sex cou­ple for­mat.

How­ever, Bal­las, 57, told Good Morn­ing Bri­tain: “They’re just about to have the fi­nal of the Ital­ian ver­sion of Strictly. A same­sex cou­ple, two men, made the fi­nal.”

Asked about the pos­si­bil­ity of that hap­pen­ing on the UK show, she said: “I think it’s spec­tac­u­lar. I think things are chang­ing. I couldn’t think of any­thing more ex­cit­ing. I’m for it.”

Fel­low judge Craig Revel Hor­wood has pre­vi­ously said the BBC should make the move and pre­dicted it will hap­pen soon.

Ex-con­tes­tant Judge Rin­der branded ques­tions about why he did not dance with a man on the 2016 se­ries “ab­surd”.

“My sex­u­al­ity, in terms of Strictly or what­ever else I do in my life, ought to be as ir­rel­e­vant as the length of my big toe,” he said.

C o m e d i a n S u s a n Cal­man, who is a les­bian, re­ceived crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia for not hav­ing a fe­male pro­fes­sional part­ner on the 2017 show.

Fel­low con­tes­tant Rev Richard Coles has ar­gued it made “no sense” that any­one would re­sist hav­ing dancers of the same gen­der tak­ing to the floor to­gether.

Bal­las also told Good Morn­ing Bri­tain that she had no prob­lem with con­tes­tant Char­lotte Hawkins, who she ac­ci­den­tally called Molly on the show.

“It was con­struc­tive crit­i­cism in or­der for her to get bet­ter the next week,” she said of her re­marks to the Good Morn­ing Bri­tain host,

“Thingsare chang­ing,Icouldn’t thinko­fany­thing more­ex­cit­ing”

who was part­nered with the now axed Bren­dan Cole.

“Un­for­tu­nately, a cer­tain mem­ber took it the wrong way.”

“There was no fric­tion be­tween Bren­dan and I ... And how Bren­dan likes to con­duct him­self is his busi­ness,” she added.

“I tried to ex­press that per­haps the chore­og­ra­phy was a lit­tle dif­fi­cult at the be­gin­ning be­cause she had tal­ent. But un­for­tu­nately he (Cole) took it the wrong way.”

STEP FOR­WARD: Shirley Bal­las would sup­port same-sex cou­ples ap­pear­ing in Strictly

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