Strictly's Graziano Di Prima Shuts Down 'Silly' Same-Sex Routine Complaints

The BBC received nearly 200 complaints about the pro dancer's performance with Johannes Radebe last year.

Strictly Come Dancing professional Graziano Di Prima has shut down complaints over the show’s landmark same-sex routine last year.

The dancer made history when he performed with fellow pro Johannes Radebe as Emeli Sandé performed her recent single Shine during the results show.

While many viewers hailed the dance as “emotional” and “progressive”, it was later revealed nearly 200 people had complained to the BBC, claiming it was offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair.

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

In a new interview with Attitude magazine, Graziano said the detractors are “silly” and will change their minds.

“We weren’t worried about it,” he said. “OK, there were 200 complaints, but there were millions of people writing to us, sending us videos saying thank you and celebrating our friendship.

“And for (Johannes), as a gay man, it means the world…

“There were thousands and thousands of people saying: ‘Thank you guys for doing that, it means the world’. Why should I care about 200 people? Are you kidding me?

“Those 200 people, you will see that in the future they will change their minds.

“It is such a silly thing because dancing is for everyone. As long as you feel the energy that dance can give to you, you can dance with whoever you want.”

The BBC subsequently responded to viewers who were unhappy with the same-sex coupling.

A statement released in early December said: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the professionals’ dance.

“They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine.”

Johannes later said it had made him feel “so liberated”, telling Hello! magazine: “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.”

The pair have a close friendship
The pair have a close friendship
Mike Marsland via Getty Images

Graziano, who has asked Johannes to be his best man at his wedding to fellow dancer Giada Lini, added to Attitude: “It was a new thing for the audience but for us, it was normal.

“Afterwards, we were crying and laughing. It’s one of those things that I’ll remember for ever.

“I had the chance to dance with my friend and to dance with him was the best thing.”

Read the full interview in Attitude magazine, out now.


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