31/08/2019 08:55 BST

BBC Changes Stance Over Strictly Come Dancing Same-Sex Couples

For the last two series, the BBC has maintained they have "no plans" to have either two men or two women competing on Strictly together.

The BBC has revealed that it has changed its stance on featuring same-sex pairings on Strictly Come Dancing.

In the last few years, a lot of Strictly viewers have been calling for the hit show to begin featuring couples compiled of two men or two women.

However, ahead of the series in both 2017 and 2018 – which featured LGBTQ contestants including Richard Coleman, Susan Calman and Dr Ranj Singh – the BBC insisted they had “no plans” to break from what they described as the “longstanding ballroom dancing format of mixed-sex couples”.

It seems they’ve had a bit of a change of heart, though.

Karwai Tang via Getty Images
The new group of Strictly celebs at this year's launch

On Friday, The Mirror reported that Strictly would be introducing a same-sex couple into the competition next year, which prompted a response from a BBC spokesperson, confirming they’re now “completely open” to the idea.

A Strictly rep said: “Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and we are proud to have featured same-sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

“We are completely open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”

David Fisher/Shutterstock
The stars of the Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals tour

While it’s unlikely that Strictly will introduce a same-sex dancing couple in 2019 – this year’s line-up is the first in a few years not to feature an LGBTQ celebrity – this statement does appear to agree with The Mirror’s suggestion that producers will be doing so next year.

This year’s line-up is a win for representation in other areas, though, as it was recently revealed that it was the most racially diverse series in Strictly history.

Get to know the celebrities taking part a little bit better below...

Photo gallery Strictly Come Dancing 2019: Meet The Stars Of This Year's Series See Gallery