Strictly Come Dancing has announced gay Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson join the new series as part of an all-male couple.
Richie Anderson said it is a “massive honour” to join Strictly Come Dancing as part of only the third-ever same-sex pairing, following in the footsteps of Nicola Adams and Katya Jones (2020), and John Whaite and Johannes Radebe (2021).
Anderson is an ex-Sunday league footballer who went viral in 2018 when he came out as gay to his teammates during a documentary exploring homophobia in sport.
He now presents travel reports on Radio 2, and occasionally appears on The One Show.
He is the third celebrity announced for Strictly Come Dancing 2022, following Will Mellor and Kym Marsh.
As the news was unveiled on Radio 2 Friday morning (5 August), Anderson offered a sweet statement sharing his excitement.
He said: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!
“Strictly is the ultimate feel good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.
“I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand.”
Can’t believe I’m typing this
I’M GOING TO BE ON STRICTLY COME DANCING 2022
My dream has come true I can’t wait to get in the Iconic ballroom. Good luck to my pro partner as my dancing skills have previously been compared to Bambi on ice bring it on https://t.co/PcdWLS5nUl
— Richie Anderson (@richie_anderson) August 5, 2022
At the end of his speech he offered his thoughts on being part of a same-sex couple.
“It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.”
Since 2020 Strictly has consistently cast same-sex partnerships on the show, starting with Nicola Adams and Katya Jones.
It has not yet been announced which pro-dancer Anderson will be paired with, but as Richie joked on social media: “Good luck to my pro partner as my dancing skills have previously been compared to Bambi on ice. Bring it on.”
It’s been widely rumoured that this year’s Strictly will features multiple same-sex couples.