BBC’s Graham Norton questions judging of Strictly same-sex pairings ‘How would that work?’

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Fans of the BBC dance competition were delighted to see the Strictly Come Dancing line-up announced earlier this month. And for the first time, a contestant will be part of a same-sex couple, with gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams set to pair with a female professional dancer. But with the show having never featured this kind of pairing before, BBC favourite Graham Norton has opened up on why he thinks the addition could result in “muddy waters for the judges.”

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Many fans of the programme have called for the show to make the move for years.

And rival show Dancing on Ice came slightly ahead of the curve by introducing their first same-sex competing couple earlier this year. 

Ian ‘H’ Watkins of Steps was partnered with professional Matt Evers, which seemed to pave the way for Strictly to do the same. 

And when Olympic champion boxer Nicola was announced for the billing earlier this month, it was confirmed she would be forming part of a same-sex couple. 

The star had requested to dance with a woman on the show, which BBC bosses were more than happy to allow for.

It comes after Strictly showcased its first solo same-sex routine, with professional dancers Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe performing together last November.

But one famous BBC host has come out and offered up his thoughts on the move.

Graham Norton has queried how the new kind of pairings will be judged in a recent interview. 

“As you have people who can be openly gay on that show, I don’t ­particularly need to see a man dancing with a man.

“I understand the reason the Strictly bosses might do it is coming from a good place, but it does kind of muddy the waters for the judges,” he said. 

Going on to give further reasoning for why he felt it could cause confusion, Graham touched on the subject of different “bodies.”

He continued: “If you’ve got two partners who can do lifts and men’s bodies are different shapes, how would that work?”

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“I don’t think it’s a homophobic thing. You want to be able to compare like with like,” he told Best Magazine.

Many close to the show have thrown their support behind the idea of same-sex couples, even before it had been confirmed by Strictly bosses.

Karen Hauer – who is rumoured to be pairing up with Nicola – said earlier this year: “It’s a beautiful way to showcase emotion on stage and I’d definitely like to do it.

“I’ve danced with women a lot over the years, so I feel very comfortable about it, all the dancers would love to see it on the show,” she told The Sun on Sunday. 

The programme will return in just a few weeks time, with fans already starting to speculate over who might emerge as this year’s winner.

Currently, the favourite to lift the Glitterball Trophy later this year is EastEnders star Maisie Smith, who’s in pole position at 2/1 odds.

Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes: “Punters can’t get enough of Maisie and they seem to think she’s already got one hand on the Glitterball Trophy.”

But who will end up going all the way and taking the crown from last year’s champions, Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse? 

Strictly Come Dancing returns later this year to BBC One. 

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