Strictly Come Dancing executive says all-male pairing is "something we've always wanted to do"

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Photo credit: BBC One
Photo credit: BBC One

Strictly Come Dancing's executive producer Sarah James has shared her excitement as this year's all-male partnership and said it's "something we've always wanted to do".

Bake Off winner John Whaite will become the first male celebrity contestant to be paired with a male professional dancer, hot on the heels of boxer Nicola Adams who made history with the show's first same-sex partnership with Katya Jones.

Speaking to press ahead of the series launch on the 18th September, James explained: "It's definitely something that we've always wanted to do and I'm really excited about John doing it. I think he's already proven that he's an amazing spokesperson for it and obviously, he's a household name and he is just a brilliant guy so I'm really looking forward to it being John."

Photo credit: BBC One
Photo credit: BBC One

She continued: "I think Nicola and Katya were amazing last year and I think everybody really, really enjoyed that partnership. It was obviously a shame that it was cut short because of what happened but they've 100 per cent paved the way. The research that we've done since has prove that everybody really, really appreciated that partnership so I'm looking forward to John doing that."

Whaite previously described his pairing as "a great step forward in representation and inclusion", adding: "Whoever it is I'm paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!"

Standing at 6 foot, 2 inches tall, Whaite referenced potential dance partners Graziano Di Prima, Johannes Radebe, Aljaz Skorjanec or Kai Widdrington as being "tall enough for me".

"They're the four I think who are tall enough for me," he said on Steph's Packed Lunch. "But they might give me a shorter dancer and put him in heels. But I'm really hoping I get to do a dance in heels."

Strictly Come Dancing begins on Saturday, 18th December on BBC One.


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