Over the weekend, Susan was moved to tears in this year’s ‘Strictly’ launch when it was revealed that she had been partnered with professional dancer Kevin Clifton, admitting he was the pro she’d most wanted as she even has a picture of him stuck on her fridge.
However, in an interview conducted before the launch was filmed, the comedian, who is gay, hit back at detractors who suggested that she should be dancing with a female professional rather than a man, something which has never been done on ‘Strictly’ before.
She told the BBC: “No one can say I haven’t stood up for my community.
“No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance… I have protested, I have picketed, I have fought, I have been spat on, I have been punched - and I want to dance.”
In response to the criticism, Susan also suggested she was under more scrutiny as a woman than other gay men who have danced on the show in the past, including current competitor Reverend Richard Coles.
Long-serving judge Craig Revel Horwood has previously said he’d be keen to see same-sex partnerships on the ‘Strictly’ dance floor, claiming in 2015 that this would “most certainly” become a reality in future series.
Following this year’s launch, the 15 couples will hit the dance floor for the first time on Saturday 23 September on BBC One.