Strictly Come Dancing has reportedly signed up a celebrity for its first all-male dance pairing following the success of Nicola Adams and Katya Jones last year.
Comedian Alan Carr and Olympic diver Tom Daley are among the famous faces approached by the BBC for the primetime show, according to The Sun.
The celebrity, who has yet to be announced, will be partnered with professional dancer Graziano Di Prima after he impressed TV bosses with his powerful performance with co-star Johannes Radebe.
An inside source told the paper: “The bosses are thrilled that Strictly will be able to show its first all-male couple this year, and they have their sights firmly on Graziano.
“There is no reason why a gay celebrity should automatically be paired with a gay dancer.”
In recent years Strictly Come Dancing has been following the lead of ITV’s Dancing on Ice by making tentative steps towards LGBT+ inclusivity, ruffling more than a few feathers as it does so.
Unfortunately the pair had to drop out after Jones tested positive for COVID-19, but their short run in the competition was a resounding success. More than 10 million people tuned in to watch their debut episode – the most viewers for a first live show in a decade.
Alan Carr turned down Strictly Come Dancing because he’d get ‘too hard’
The show’s first all-male dance pairing is expected to attract a similar boost in viewings – though it seems unlikely that Alan Carr will be the one to compete.
The star previously joked that he turned down the chance to appear on Strictly Come Dancing in case he got turned on during a “sexy dance”.
Speaking on his podcast Life’s a Beach, Carr said: “I get asked to do Strictly every year, and the journalists say to me: ‘What do you think about same-sex dancing?’ And I say: ‘No.’
“Their eyes light up and they go, ‘Oh my God.’ I say no because I will get a lob on if I dance with Aljaz [Škorjanec] or Gorka [Marquez], oh my God. I would be so hard, I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t.”
He laughed: “I’m one of those people, I get on a bus, the vibrations make me hard. So doing the Argentine tango, forget it, that’s a sexy dance… The VTs [pre-filmed segments] would just be me knocking one out in the room.”