The BBC would be prepared to allow a same-sex dance couple on Strictly Come Dancing, one of its flagship shows.
The British tax-subsidized broadcaster was responding to Gay Star News after current contestant Ben Cohen said he had wanted to dance with another man but was paired with a woman, Kristina Rihanoff.
Strictly is a major export for the BBC, turned into Dancing With The Stars in 40 countries, including Israel where an all female couple has already been permitted.
Germany is due to have a same-sex couple in its next series too.
Straight former rugby professional Cohen raised the issue on Sunday (7 October) during a televised interview on the Alan Carr: Chatty Man show.
Camp gay comic Carr asked Cohen if it was true he had wanted to dance with a man.
Cohen replied: ‘I wanted to dance with Robin. I thought it would be different. I thought it would be a good way of breaking down stereotypes.’
Fellow Strictly stars, being interviewed alongside him agreed and the idea got a cheer from the audience.
Robin Windsor, 34, is a gay professional dancer and a regular on the show.
But Cohen also invited Carr to dance with him on the Christmas Special, an invitation the comic jokingly accepted, saying: ‘I suppose I can find an opening for Ben.’
Strictly Come Dancing in Britain has already seen 141 pairings of celebrities with dance professionals, performing thousands of routines but not a single same-sex pairing.
While Carr doesn’t appear to be entirely serious about taking up Cohen’s offer, and the producers say they have no immediate plans for that, a same-gender dance could be coming.
A spokeswoman for the show told GSN: ‘We wouldn’t rule out having a same sex couple on Strictly, but there are currently no plans for it.’
The BBC also claimed Cohen had not specifically asked the show’s producers to pair with Windsor and they had not known about it before seeing Carr’s show.
But their answer may disappoint one viewer who contacted GSN to say he had complained to the BBC.
David Trouton commented: ‘Having these two guys dancing would have really been a big two fingers to many countries who find it disgusting that same-sex relationships exist.’
Cohen, while straight, is a long-term advocate for LGBT people, particularly through his anti-bullying StandUp Foundation.
Watch the interview with Alan Carr here and below, see Israel’s same-gender couple in action on Dancing With The Stars: