The BBC says it has no plans to introduce same-sex dance partnerships on Strictly Come Dancing amid calls for their inclusion.
The latest series of Strictly features two openly gay contestants – Susan Calman and Revd Richard Coles, but both have been paired with professional dancers of the opposite sex.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Revd Coles said he wanted to see same-sex couples on the show, and was continuing to pressure BBC executives and the show’s producers.
The BBC responded to Revd Coles’ comments, saying, “Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition.”
However, Craig Revel Horwood, who is one of two gay judges on the show, has joined calls for same-sex couples to be introduced and said he thinks it “will probably happen next year”.
He also said there was “no reason” why same-sex couples could not be introduced, and claimed that there is “nothing wrong” with it.
In 2013, the BBC resisted similar calls to include same-sex dance partnerships on the popular Saturday night programme.
At the time, heterosexual rugby star Ben Cohen said he would have enjoyed dancing with a man on the show, saying it would be a “good way of breaking down stereotypes”.
Strictly has faced criticism in past years for incidents involving swearing before the watershed, excessively risqué outfits, and sexually suggestive dance moves.