Strictly Come Dancing's Bruno Tonioli 'Very Sad' At Complaints To Same-Sex Routine

The long-standing judge had his say on Twitter after 189 people complained to the BBC.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has voiced his disappointment after learning that the show’s recent same-sex routine had sparked almost 200 complaints.

The corporation’s Audience Services arm received 189 complaints after Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe danced together during a performance from Emeli Sandé.

The report published by the BBC states that complainants said it was “offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair”.

Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli
Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli
Eric McCandless via Getty Images

Reacting to the news on Thursday, long-standing judge Bruno tweeted that he was “sad” to hear the performance had sparked so many complaints.

I know I shouldn’t let this upset me however its just really sad to read this,” he wrote. “It’s hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other... I just don’t know what to say... Very sad.“

TV watchdog Ofcom also confirmed to HuffPost UK it had received one complaint, but their protocol is that people should speak to the BBC’s executive complaints unit first.

Speaking to Hello! Magazine about the same-sex routine, Johannes recently said: “For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am. That says so much about the people of this country.

“To be able to dance with a friend I respect and adore is joyous. There’s bromance galore between us, but there were no male and female roles, just free movement. It was beautiful, classy and elegant.”

Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe
Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe

For the last few years, fans have been calling for the show to allow pairs made up of two men or two women to take part in the competition, which has been backed by members of the Strictly family including Craig Revel Horwood and Shirley Ballas.

While the BBC long maintained that they would not stray from the “longstanding ballroom dancing format of mixed-sex couples”, this year they changed their stance on the issue, revealing they’d be “completely open” to the idea from next year.

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