Strictly Come Dancing 'homosexuality’ complaints ‘not upheld’ by BBC

Kerry Martin
·3-min read
Picture Shows:  Nicola Adams, Katya Jones - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Nicola Adams (left) and Katya Jones were Strictly Come Dancing's first same-sex couple. (BBC/Guy Levy)

The BBC has stood by Strictly Come Dancing after receiving complaints that a dance by the show’s first same-sex couple Katya Jones and Nicola Adams was a ‘blatant projection of homosexuality’.

The BBC has not confirmed the number of complaints it received in its latest report, simply stating that they were ‘not upheld’ and will not been investigated any further, according to Metro.

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The performance that received complaints came during the finale show on 19 December, 2020. After withdrawing from the competition early in the series, following Jones testing positive for COVID, the duo returned for one last dance.

Read more: Nicola Adams: Leaving Strictly Come Dancing was really tough

A tango to Muse’s Feelin’ Good, the routine was praised by viewers for its romantic elements, which broke out of the restrained “gal pal” and “besties at a club” routines viewers had taken to social media to comment upon previously.

However, some people felt the performance was a "blatant projection of homosexuality" and complained to the BBC's Executive Complaints Unit.

Nicola Adams has been partnered with Katya Jones for 'Strictly Come Dancing'. (BBC)
Nicola Adams performs with Katya Jones. (BBC)

Prior to her Strictly debut, Olympic boxer Adams said: “If they don’t like it, they’re going to have to deal with it or switch to another channel.”

A BBC spokesperson said in September 2020: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

"We are completely open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, 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.”

Episode: Launch show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Nicola Adams, Katya Jones - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston
Nicola Adams and Katya Jones (BBC/Ray Burmiston)

It's not the first time the show has received criticism over a same-sex performance. Strictly professionals Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima made history in 2019 when they performed to Emeli Sande’s romantic hit Shine, prompting Ofcom complaints.

Read more: Strictly's Graziano di Prima not worried about same-sex dance complaints

Speaking to Hello Magazine, Radebe 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.”

Dancing On Ice class of 2020: Kevin Kilbane, Caprice, Lucrezia Millarini, Ian 'H' Watkins, Perry Kiely, Christopher Dean, Michael Barrymore, Jayne Torvill, Maura Higgins, Joe Swash, Libby Clegg MBE, Trisha Goddard, Lisa George and Ben Hanlin (Credit: ITV)
The Dancing On Ice class of 2020: Kevin Kilbane, Caprice, Lucrezia Millarini, Ian 'H' Watkins, Perry Kiely, Christopher Dean, Michael Barrymore, Jayne Torvill, Maura Higgins, Joe Swash, Libby Clegg MBE, Trisha Goddard, Lisa George and Ben Hanlin. (ITV)

However to some, watching the sight of two men dancing together left them feeling “offended".

Nearly 300 people made complaints to the BBC but none were upheld, according to Gay Times.

Matt Evers and Ian 'H' Watkins from Steps had previously become the first same-sex couple to be paired together on a UK competitive reality show, on ITV's Dancing On Ice.

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