Richard Coles had 'discussion' about male Strictly partner

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 September 2017
Richard Coles

Rev. Richard Coles

Openly gay Church of England vicar and former Communards member Rev. Richard Coles "had a discussion" about same-sex dance partners on 'Strictly Come Dancing'

Rev. Richard Coles "had a discussion" about same-sex dance partners on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

The openly gay Church of England vicar and former Communards member has been partnered with Diana Buswell on the new series of the competition, but would have been open to dancing with a guy.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "We've had a discussion about it actually, and I don't know. I mean, it's in no sense that anyone resists the idea in principle, it's just a question of doing it."

And Richard thinks the time was right to bring in same-sex dance couples, especially with 2017 being the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality.

He said: "I think it's a good year to do it actually, with the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Decriminalisation Act."

The BBC confirmed they haven't "completely ruled out" introducing same-sex dance partnerships but won't be doing so in the near future.

A spokesperson said: "'Strictly' has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition.

"'Strictly' has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition."

Meanwhile, lesbian comic Susan Calman has been left unimpressed by the criticism she has received for dancing on the show and not asking for a female partner.

The 'I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue' panellist - who will be dancing with Kevin Clifton - said: "No one can say I haven't stood up for my community. I think politically, there's nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife's on the front row, doing what she wants to do.

"No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance...

"I have protested, I have picketed, I have fought, I have been spat on, I have been punched - and I want to dance."

And Susan thinks the criticism she's received is particularly unfair because gay male contestants haven't been subjected to similar barbs.

She said: "There will be a time for same-sex dancing. I think what annoyed me slightly is that I seem to be getting it in the neck.

"Will Young didn't get it, Judge Rinder didn't get it, Richard Coles isn't getting it. It seems to me as a woman, he's not getting it the same way I am. And for me to be getting it is, I think, unfair. I seem to be getting the brunt of the LGBT community."

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