A ground-breaking step for LGBTQI representation on our screens for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing


The former boxer and Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams will appear in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, alongside other stars such as Clara Amfo, Ranvir Singh, and Max George. In a series first, Nicola Adams will compete as both the show’s first female lead, and in the first competing same-sex couple.

The 37-year-old retired from boxing last year, after bringing home the gold at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic games. Hailing from Leeds, Adams was awarded an OBE in 2017 for her contributions to British sport, and her success has helped push forward LGBTQI representation in sport.

Adams will now trade the boxing ring for the ballroom. Speaking with BBC Breakfast, Adams called the decision “a big step for the show” and that she “can’t wait to get some dancing done.” When approached by the show’s producers, Adams agreed to appear as a contestant, but requested that she be given a same-sex dance partner. 

The decision comes after Strictly’s statement last year that they were “completely open” to same-sex couples on the show. Strictly had featured a professional same-sex dance routine on the show last year, when Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima took the floor on the live results show. The dance was hailed as an important moment for LGBTQI representation by many, but also drew nearly 200 complaints to the BBC.

However, Nicola Adams dancing with a female partner demonstrates the widespread support for same-sex couples on the show. “I want you guys to know I’ll be giving it my all,” she said in a Twitter video, thanking the BBC for the chance to represent. “It’s a big step for the show… it’s nice to see that we’re able to move on.”

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