The BBC says it hasn’t ruled out featuring same-sex couples on its hit show, Strictly Come Dancing, but there are no current plans for it.
The programme matches celebrities with professional dancers in a ballroom dancing competition, with viewers voting for their favourites each week.
The issue of same-sex pairings arose after rugby star, Ben Cohen, said he would have liked to dance with a man on the show as a “good way of breaking down stereotypes”.
A spokesman for the show told a gay news website: “We wouldn’t rule out having a same sex couple on Strictly, but there are currently no plans for it.”
Gay lobby groups have in the past boasted about influencing popular television programmes to promote their issues.
A few years ago Stonewall revealed it had arranged for a character from Hollyoaks to wear a homosexual campaign T-shirt.
At the time, Stonewall’s Gary Nunn said “we work with programme makers to reflect” our goals. It’s “one of our key priorities,” he said.
In 2011, art critic Brian Sewell – himself a bisexual – hit out at the numbers of gay characters on TV soaps, calling it “sexual propaganda”.
The same year, former soap star Nick Cochrane, who played Andy McDonald in Coronation Street, commented on the number of same-sex storylines on the soap.
He said: “Would one road in a working class area generally produce that number of gay people?”
“I’ve got plenty of gay friends”, he explained, “but they don’t all live in a street full of gay people.
“How many streets in Britain would have schoolgirl lesbians, gay married couples, a transsexual and children to gay couples? It is a little bit far-fetched.”