Len Goodman suggests Strictly’s first same-sex pairing could put off viewers

Len Goodman has suggested that Strictly Come Dancing’s first ever same-sex pairing could put off viewers.


The BBC previously confirmed that 2020 would see the show’s first same-sex celebrity and professional partnership, with boxer Nicola Adams dancing with a female dancer.

Former Strictly judge Len has said that “traditionalists” may not take to the change but added it would be “interesting to see”.

Len, who left Strictly after more than a decade as head judge in 2016, said: “A lot of older people are traditionalists – they used to go ballroom dancing and most people’s nans and grandads met probably in a dance hall.The older viewers have their certain traditional ways about it all so might not be sure.

“But look – I suppose the good thing is that most older people I don’t think vote, so it won’t matter much in that way.”

He added in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper: “They did it on Dancing On Ice didn’t they – they had two guys dancing — so I suppose it’s the way the world goes, things progress and things change.

“But you’ve got to understand I’m an old fuddy-duddy ballroom dancer so if it was down to me it would be men and women and all the men would be in tail-suits but I know it wouldn’t work.


“We’ll see – it will be interesting in the same way it was on Dancing On Ice, it’ll be interesting to see.”

Speaking ahead of the show’s launch, Nicola said taking part in Strictly’s first same-sex couple “means a lot to me”.

She added: “I think it’s a brilliant step in the right direction especially on the diversity side of things. And women actually dance with women all the time in the professional circuit so I guess it’s just showing people that it can be done.”

Nicola went on to say that the reaction had been “amazing”.


“I’ve had lots of positive messages, everybody saying they can’t wait to see me, so I’m excited,” Nicola enthused. “From the start I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me so far. I hope I don’t disappoint with my dance moves and I’ll be giving it 110%.”

Strictly Come Dancing launches on October 17 on BBC One.