Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel-Horwood has announced he expects same-sex couples will happen as early as next year.
The gay judge appeared on Lorraine following the launch of the BBC dancing show on Saturday.
With the appearance of lesbian comic Susan Calman, the first time a gay woman has competed on the show, and gay Reverend Richard Coles, the debate has raged again on the question of whether the celebrities would rather have a same-sex partner.
Both Calman and Coles have said they are happy dancing with an opposite-sex professional partner.
‘I think same-sex couples can exist – you only have to decide who’s going to go backwards really, don’t you?’ Horwood said.
‘That’s the only difference.’
And then Horwood revealed he believed we could see same-sex couples competing on Strictly in 2018.
He added: ‘In the world of competition, you know, there are same sex couples who do it as well so there’s no reason what that can’t happen.
‘I just guess the Beeb have to decide whether they want to one year and I think it will probably happen next year.’
Calman has responded to the backlash she has faced for choosing to dance with a man.
She said: ‘I think politically, there’s nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife’s on the front row, doing what she wants to do.
‘I did think about dancing with a woman, but from the very first moment when I was asked about the show I said I wanted to dance with a man.’
Will there ever be same-sex competing couples on Strictly?
In 2015, the BBC caused controversy when they were asked if a celebrity would ever compete with a professional dancer. They said: ‘Strictly is a family show and we have chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples.’ Many took this to be homophobic and offensive.
When GSN asked the BBC to clarify these comments, they said: ‘To avoid any misinterpretation the reference to “family show” – meaning all kinds of families – was only ever intended to describe the kind of show Strictly is. It was not to explain casting decisions.’
And finally, when asked whether the BBC planned to ever allow a celebrity to dance with a pro of the same gender: ‘At the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition.’