Boxer Nicola Adams to feature in Strictly’s first same-sex couple


The first three celebs to be competing for the 2020 Glitterball trophy, were announced on Tuesday.

And, now, a report has emerged claiming that Nicola Adams, 37, is set to be in Strictly Come Dancing’s FIRST same-sex pairing, in a move many are said to feel is ‘well overdue.’  

The boxer’s rumoured so-called ‘groundbreaking’ inclusion follows months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether Strictly would air at all this year.

Groundbreaking! A report has emerged claiming that Nicola Adams, 37, is set to be in Strictly Come Dancing’s FIRST same-sex pairing, in a move many are said to feel is ‘well overdue’

A source told The Mirror: ‘It’s such an exciting step for us to be taking, and many feel it is well overdue.

‘It’s been talked about for so long, to see it finally happen feels truly ground-breaking and quite emotional.’

When approached by MailOnline, a spokesperson for Strictly Come Dancing said: ‘The rest of the line up will be announced in due course.’

The report about Nicola comes two months after TV insiders teased there could be a male coupling as well as a female one. 

Is it true? The boxer's rumoured so-called 'groundbreaking' inclusion follows months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether Strictly would air at all this year

Is it true? The boxer’s rumoured so-called ‘groundbreaking’ inclusion follows months of uncertainty amid the COVID-19 crisis as to whether Strictly would air at all this year

Making history: In July it was reported that Westlife's Mark Feehily is 'set to star in Strictly Come Dancing's first same-sex couple with Johannes Radebe'

Making history: In July it was reported that Westlife’s Mark Feehily is ‘set to star in Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple with Johannes Radebe’

According to The Sun, a source said: ‘This is another intriguing twist in the journey. Everyone assumed producers would simply pair gay pro Johannes Radebe with a male celebrity but they felt that was too obvious.’ 

In July, Westlife’s Mark Feehily, 43, rumoured to have been lined up to be part of Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple with Johannes.

A source told The Sun at the time: ‘Mark’s a big Strictly fan. Nearly all the celebs are signed up, but the Beeb are keen to make this work and get him on board.’ 

Mark, who came out as gay publicly in 2005, was allegedly approached to be a part of the show’s 2019 series, but had to turn it down as Westlife were set to go on tour at the time.  

Plans: Show bosses were said to be 'keen' to get Mark on board for the show, and were allegedly planning to pair him with Johannes (L, pictured with Graziano di Prima)

Plans: Show bosses were said to be ‘keen’ to get Mark on board for the show, and were allegedly planning to pair him with Johannes (L, pictured with Graziano di Prima)

Interested: In November last year Mark (pictured in 2019) expressed his interest in signing up to Strictly, but only if he was paired up with a man as otherwise it would 'feel strange'

Interested: In November last year Mark (pictured in 2019) expressed his interest in signing up to Strictly, but only if he was paired up with a man as otherwise it would ‘feel strange’

In November last year Mark expressed his interest in signing up to Strictly to The Mirror, but only if he was paired up with a man as otherwise it would ‘feel strange’.    

Last year, Johannes danced with Graziano Di Prima last year in a professionals dance on the show as Emeli Sande belted out her latest single.

According to the BBC the dance led to the most complaints they received at the time, as 189 viewers protested to the routine. 

However, the channel rightly embraced its LGBTQ+ audience, as they said in a statement: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the Professionals’ dance.

‘They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine.’  

Supporting the LGBTQ+ audience: Johannes danced with Graziano last year in a professionals dance on the show alongside Aljaž Škorjanec and Luba Mushtuk

Supporting the LGBTQ+ audience: Johannes danced with Graziano last year in a professionals dance on the show alongside Aljaž Škorjanec and Luba Mushtuk

Following the dance, Johannes admitted he felt ‘liberated’ and honoured to perform with his best friend in the show’s first all-male routine as he told Hello! Magazine that it made him feel truly ‘accepted’.

Of the groundbreaking routine, he said: ‘I’ve never felt so liberated. For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am.

‘That says so much about the people of this country. To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous.

‘There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.’  

Delighted: Following the dance, Johannes admitted he felt 'liberated' and honoured to perform with his best friend in the show's first all-male routine

Delighted: Following the dance, Johannes admitted he felt ‘liberated’ and honoured to perform with his best friend in the show’s first all-male routine

Caroline Quentin, The Wanted’s Max George and Nadine Coyle’s NFL player ex Jason Bell were all confirmed to be taking part in the show, on Tuesday night’s instalment of The One Show.

Other stars rumoured to be taking part are Denise Van Outen and Bill Bailey.

A source told The Sun, of comedian Bill, 55, that: ‘It’s a hard time for live performers so it seemed a good chance for Bill to commit to the show.’  

Strictly Come Dancing Contestants 2020

CAROLINE QUENTIN

Age: 60

Profession: Actress, known for roles in Men Behaving Badly and Jonathan Creek

Caroline says: ‘I hope my knees don’t let me down and I hope the foundation garments live up to expectations when I start leaping about!’

Fun fact: She met her now-husband, Sam Farmer in 1998 on the set of Men Behaving Badly when he was one of the studio runners.

MAX GEORGE 

 Age: 31

Profession: Singer – from former boy band The Wanted

Max says: ‘Nan – I’m doing Strictly this year!’

Fun Fact: Max’s fellow The Wanted bandmate Jay McGuiness was on Strictly in 2015 – and won it!

JASON BELL

Age: 42

Profession: Retired American Football player – now a pundit

 Jason says: ‘I am thrilled. I’m a huge fan of the show, I’ve been watching it since I came to this country, so it’s time for me to do something cool to impress my daughter, now that she can watch me perform!’

Fun Fact: Jason is the father of Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle’s daughter. The couple were together for 11 years, only splitting recently in 2019

 

 

The professional dancers are pre-recording their big numbers — and they are quarantining in a hotel in Elstree, Herts, before the official launch of the show at the end of this month.

The celebrity contestants will be asked to ‘bubble’ with their dance partners for the duration of the series, which is set to be shorter – nine weeks instead of the normal 13 – and quieter, with no live audience to clap and boo.

The Strictly team are said to be ‘confident’ the show will still be a ratings winner and will attract a stellar calibre of celebrity.  

Judge Bruno Tonioli will be dialling in from Los Angeles for the first five weeks, unable to travel back and forth from his duties at Dancing With The Stars due to the pandemic’s travel rules.

The BBC’s head of entertainment, Kate Phillips, said: ‘Strictly is a slightly shorter run but, apart from that, I don’t think it will be a lesser show at all. If anything, I think this series will be rather special.’  

The 2019 series was won by soap star Kelvin Fletcher and Oti Mabuse, and started on September 21. 

Strictly Come Dancing 2020: Who are the pros?

ALJAŽ ŠKORJANEC

Joined the show: Series 11 (2013)

Celebrity Partners include: Alison Hammond, Helen George, Daisy Lowe, and Viscountess Emma Weymouth

Best Result: Won with Abbey Clancy in 2013  

AMY DOWDEN

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Brian Conley, Danny John-Jules and Karim Zeroual

Best Result: 2nd Place with Karim Zeroual in 2019 

ANTON DU BEKE

Joined the show: Series 1 (2004)

Celebrity Partners include: Ann Widdecombe, Nancy Dell’Olio, Judy Murray and Ruth Langsford

Best result: 2nd Place with Emma Barton in 2019 

DIANNE BUSWELL

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Rev Richard Coles, Joe Sugg and Dev Griffin

Best Result: 2nd Place with Joe Sugg in 2018 

GIOVANNI PERNICE

Joined the show: Series 13 (2015)

Celebrity Partners: Georgia May Foote, Laura Whitmore Debbie McGee, Faye Tozer and Michelle Visage

Best Results: 2nd Place with Georgia May Foote (2015), Debbie McGee (2017) and Faye Tozer (2018) 

GORKA MARQUEZ 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partners: Tameka Empson, Alexandra Burke and Katie Piper

Best Result: 2nd Place With Alexandra Burke in 2017  

GRAZIANO DI PRIMA  

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partners: Vick Hope

Best Result: 12th Place with Vick Hope in 2018 

JANETTE MANRARA

Joined the show: Series 11 (2013) 

Celebrity Partners Include: Jake Wood, Peter Andre and Aston Merrygold

Best Result: 5th Place with Jake Wood in 2014

JOHANNES RADEBE 

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partners: Catherine Tyldesley

Best Result: 11th Place with Catherine Tyldesley in 2019 

KAREN HAUER

Joined the show: Series 10 (2012)

Celebrity Partners: Nicky Byrne, Mark Wright, Simon Rimmer, Charles Venn and Chris Ramsey

Best Results: 4th Place with Mark Wright in 2014, and Chris Ramsey in 2019. 

KATYA JONES 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partners include: Ed Balls, Seann Walsh, Mike Bushell

Best Result: Won with Joe McFadden in 2017 

LUBA MUSHTUK

Joined the show: Series 16 (2018)

Celebrity Partner: James Cracknell

Best Result: 15th Place with James Cracknell in 2019 

NADIYA BYCHKOVA

Joined the show: Series 15 (2017)

Celebrity Partners: Davood Ghadami, Lee Ryan and David James

Best Result: 6th Place with Davood Ghadami in 2017 

NANCY XU 

Joined the show: Series 17 (2019)

Celebrity Partner: TBC

Best Result: TBC 

NEIL JONES 

Joined the show: Series 14 (2016)

Celebrity Partner: Alex Scott

Best Result: 5th Place with Alex Scott in 2019 

OTI MABUSE 

Joined the show: Series 13 (2015)

Celebrity Partners: Danny Mac, Anthony Ogogo, Graeme Swann and Jonnie Peacock

Best Result: Won with Kelvin Fletcher in 2019 

 

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