Boxing champion Nicola Adams to make TV history as part of Strictly Come Dancing first same-sex pairing

On BBC Breakfast, Nicola Adams said it was her idea to take part as the first same-sex pairing in Strictly Come Dancing 2020 when producers approached her.

Nicola Strictly Come Dancing 2020
Image: @nicolaadamsobe

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams has confirmed she will be competing as part of a same-sex pairing in Strictly Come Dancing 2020. 

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Adams shared it was her idea to compete in a same-sex pairing when the show’s producers approached her. She said, “I think it’s really important. It’s definitely time for change.”

Adams further expressed, “It’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction. It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see there are same-sex couples on the show as well.”

The lesbian Olympic double Gold medalist retired from sport last year. On Twitter, she said, “Just as I do in the boxing ring, I’ll be doing exactly the same thing on the dance floor. Let’s get ready to rumble.”

After much speculation around Strictly Come Dancing including a same-sex pairing in the 2020 lineup, Adams’ announcement has been met with overwhelming joy by fans. Though there were many theories around  gay pro-dancer Johannes Radebe being paired with a man, this unexpected twist builds excitement towards seeing the ex-boxer take to the dancefloor. 

TV critic and broadcaster Scott Byran wrote on Twitter, “To anyone who says that this isn’t news: it *is* news for the young LGBTQ+ people, many who aren’t out yet, who need role models. To anyone who says male-female dancing partners are the norm and Strictly should not change: this is a Saturday night entertainment show. Grow up.”

Another person shared, “Finally, a camp show that relies on queer aesthetics based on a dance culture that routinely features same-sex couples has allowed them on tv. Strictly is behind the times but this is good news! Ready the sequins, and prepare for my wrath if Nicola Adams gets voted out too early.”

BBC 2 radio presenter Kate Bottley replied to Adams’ tweet by saying, “I know you don’t need anyone to fight your battles for you, but I’m sending you love, positivity and prayers, can’t wait to see your fancy footwork.”

Highlighting the importance of visibility on Strictly Come Dancing, one person expressed, “When I saw this I burst into tears – I’ve watched BBC Strictly ever since I was tiny, and now to know I’ll get to see two incredible women competing together, as a couple, makes me so happy. My version of a fairytale #RepresentationMatters.”

On BBC Breakfast, Adams added, “I’m a fan of the show. I’ve seen a couple of the seasons. I know it’s going to be tough. I know the training is going to be hard. I can’t dance at all, so this is going to be a totally new challenge for me.”

Nicola Adams’ partner on Strictly Come Dancing 2020 has yet to be revealed. However, the boxer is hoping for “somebody who’s maybe a little bit on the short side because I’m a little bit small.”

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