The two openly gay contestants on next year’s Irish Dancing with the Stars have stated that they would be open to competing with a partner of the same-sex on the RTE series.
Eilish O’Carroll, who plays Winnie McGoogan on Mrs Brown Boys, and stylist Darren Kennedy are confirmed to join the celebrity line-up as the show hits our screens in the new year.
In an interview with RTE Radio One, Darren Kennedy told Ryan Tubridy that he would be open to having a male dance partner on the show:
“I would happily dance with a man. In fact, I did give it a bit of thought because I thought potentially I could be asked – so I started researching it.”
— RTE One (@RTEOne) December 3, 2018
“It turns out there is a gay couple on the dance scene doing really well internationally.
“But in terms of embracing the show, I feel such a big part of it all is the theatre of the dress. And I think you lose that with two men wearing suits.”
Mrs Brown’s Boys actor Eilish O’Carroll, who is openly gay, echoed her fellow contestant’s sentiment:
“If the producers had said to me ‘Surprise, surprise, Eilish, your partner is going to be a woman’, it wouldn’t have been an issue.”
O’Carroll, who came out when she was in her 40s, stated that the gender of her dancing partner is irrelevant:
“I have no issue if my partner is not a woman. I just love getting up there. It doesn’t matter if you are dancing with a man or a woman because you’re doing it for the fun of it.”
In the past, the show’s judges have supported the prospect of same-sex partnerships on the series with Brian Redmond and Lorraine Barry welcoming the idea.
The show’s boss, Larry Bass has not ruled out the possibility altogether. Speaking on the issue Bass said:
“I spoke to the producer in Italy about it. They had a same-sex couple and it was no big deal. We’re open to that discussion. We’ve cleared it with the BBC and they won’t have an issue.”
The third series of Dancing With The Stars airs on January 6 2019.
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