ENTERTAINMENT
07/03/2019 10:13 GMT | Updated 07/03/2019 10:44 GMT

Strictly Come Dancing: AJ Pritchard 100% Wants To Be First Professional To Compete In A Same-Sex Pair

"If it’s going to be anyone, I’d like it to be me."

Strictly Come Dancing professional AJ Pritchard has volunteered himself to be the first of the show’s dancers to perform alongside a same-sex celebrity partner.

For the past few years, there’s been a big debate around whether Strictly should include same-sex pairs in the competition, with key figures including presenter Claudia Winkleman and judge Craig Revel Horwood giving the idea the thumbs up.

Discussing the subject with MailOnline, AJ has revealed that not only is he in favour of having pairs of two men or women on the show, he also wants to be the first man to dance with a male celeb on the Strictly dance floor.

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
AJ Pritchard at this year's Strictly launch

“If they do decide to finally do same-sex partners on Strictly this year I 100% want to be the pro to do it,” he explained. “If it’s going to be anyone [in a same-sex pairing], I’d like it to be me.”

AJ added: “I guess it all depends on who the celebrity contestants are this year… so I think we have to wait and see.

“But if same-sex partnerships do happen it’s going to be so captivating. And I am very open to it. People enjoy seeing bodies moving, it doesn’t matter [about gender].”

Although Strictly is yet to include partnerships of either two men or two women in the competition, there have been same-sex pairs in the group routines shown during the results shows, including one moment during last year’s series.

However, this move proved divisive among viewers, with some applauding the show for increasing representations, while others felt it was something of a cop-out on the part of producers.

Last month, AJ – who will return for his fourth series of Strictly later this year – made headlines when he said he wanted to avoid “labelling” himself when it came to his sexuality.

He told Gay Times magazine: “It is mad that everything always has to have a label, whether it be the clothes by designers or whether you are in a relationship.

“Everybody always wants to have that label when it is not always necessary.”

AJ added: “At that time of your life, whatever you are, or wherever you are, things always change. You can’t ever say never, because you don’t know what is around the corner. As long as you’re happy, that is the main thing.”

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing's Former Pros: Where Are They Now? See Gallery