Len Goodman warns Strictly's same-sex pairing will 'turn off' older viewers

Len Goodman has predicted Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex pairing with Nicola Adams will ‘turn off’ older viewers.

The former judge – who left the Strictly panel in 2016 – thinks two women dancing together will confuse audiences over a certain age.

‘A lot of older people are traditionalists – they used to go ballroom dancing and most people’s nans and grandads met probably in a dance hall,’ he said

‘The older viewers have their certain traditional ways about it all so might not be sure.’

Talking to the Mail on Sunday, he continued: ‘But look – I suppose the good thing is that most older people I don’t think vote, so it won’t matter much in that way.’

The announcement Olympic boxer Nicola would be paired with a female partner has already been struck with backlash before she’s even taken to the dancefloor. The BBC was forced to respond in a statement after receiving hundreds of complaints.

In a statement, the broadcaster said: ‘Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

‘We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same-sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

‘Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. 

‘The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.’

While the complaints may not be all that surprising, and the response has been overwhelmingly more positive than negative, for many, it hurts.

Regardless, Nicola has said the pairing is a ‘brilliant step in the right direction, especially on the diversity side of things’.

And quite right too.

Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this month.

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