Graham Norton says same sex pairing on Strictly will be hard to judge

‘I don’t need to see a man dancing with a man’: Graham Norton says same-sex pairings on Strictly will be confusing for the judges

  • Boxer Nicola Adams, 37, will make history on this year’s Strictly as the first star to be in a same sex pairing 
  • Graham said he thinks it will make it harder for the judges because you want to be able to ‘compare like with like’
  • The comedian, who is openly gay, insisted it ‘isn’t a homophobic thing’ 
  • Earlier this month, the BBC defended having a same-sex pairing, after the show was hit by more than 100 Ofcom complaints

Graham Norton has spoken out about Strictly making history with their first same sex pairing. 

Boxer Nicola Adams, 37, was confirmed as being the first contestant to form a female partnership with a professional dancer when the new series returns this autumn. 

Now, comedian Graham, 57, has said while he can see why the BBC have decided to make this groundbreaking move, he feels it could make judging more complicated.  

His view: Graham Norton has spoken out about Strictly making history with their first same sex pairing

Graham told Best Magazine: ‘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.

‘If you’ve got two partners who can do lifts and men’s bodies are different shapes, how would that work? I don’t think it’s a homophobic thing. You want to be able to compare like with like.’ 

Groundbreaking: Last year male professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed a same sex routine during the show’s seventeenth series

Exciting: Boxer Nicola Adams, 37, was confirmed as being the first contestant to form a female partnership with a professional dancer when the new series returns this autumn 

Norton is openly gay. He split up from his partner of two years, Trevor Patterson, in 2013, and broke up with his subsequent partner, Andrew Smith, in 2015.

MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.

Earlier this month, the BBC defended having a same-sex pairing on this year’s series, after the show was hit by more than 100 Ofcom complaints. 

Graham said: ‘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’, he said (pictured in 2019)

The BBC said: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series. 

‘We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise. 

‘Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.’

Defiant: Nicola recently spoke about her upcoming appearance on the show, saying she is ready to ‘break boundaries’ as part of first same-sex couple in show’s history 

Making a change: Of calling trolls out, Nicola said ‘Ella [Baig, pictured in 2019] and I decided to fight back, because maybe there are people out there who aren’t able to cope’

Last year male professional dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed a same sex routine during the show’s seventeenth series.  

While the dance – conducted during a performance by pop star Emeli Sande – was met with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response on social media, it prompted 200 complaints with TV regulator Ofcom.    

Nicola recently spoke about her upcoming appearance on the show, saying she is ready to ‘break boundaries’ as part of first same-sex couple in show’s history.

She told the Guardian: ‘I guess it’s just breaking those boundaries and showing people that it’s OK.

‘It’s not such an uncommon thing: professional dancers dance with people of the same sex all the time; you dance in a nightclub with your friends.  

‘I just wanted to break down the thing of it being a big deal when it’s not really a big deal.’ 

With her dance partner yet to be confirmed, Nicola believes she will be given the male role when the show gets underway because of her aversion to traditionally feminine clothes, adding:  ‘Dresses aren’t my thing.’  

Setting the tone: Nicola enters the competition after male professionals Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima performed a same sex routine during the show’s seventeenth series in 2019

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