Paul O'Grady calls for same sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing

Paul O'Grady

Paul O'Grady thinks it's time for same sex couples on Strictly Come Dancing.

He says the BBC One series should follow his revived version of Blind Date.

Paul replaced the late Cilla Black on the show which returns Saturday night on Channel 5.

The new series has opened its doors to anyone looking for love, regardless of sexuality.

“We’ve brought it into modern times," Paul said in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper. "We’ve got same-sex couples.

"They should have them on Strictly, it’s ridiculous."

He told the tabloid: "The only dance two men should never do is the tango. It’s two fellas vying for position of top dog. It’s masculine and aggressive, the proper Argentinian tango.

“Strictly’s been going for years. It needs something to liven it up for a bit longer."

And Paul suggested: "They’re scared because they’re public funding and they’re scared of public reaction going, ‘I don’t want to watch this kind of filth on a Saturday night’. We’re not looking at an alien orgy.”

Earlier this year, Strictly judge Shirley Ballas also backed including same-sex couples on the show.

Shirley, who joined the show last year, said she'd "embrace" the change.

Shirley's fellow judge Craig Revel Horwood previously predicted same sex couples would be seen on Strictly one day.

The Strictly star thinks it's only a matter of time before the BBC relaxes its rules on the current mixed gender pairings.

"I think same-sex couples can exist - you only have to decide who's going to go backwards really, don't you? That's the only difference." Craig said.

However the BBC previously insisted there were currently "no plans" to involve same sex pairings on Strictly at the moment.

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 Come Dancing returns to TV later this year.

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