Strictly judge predicts same-sex couples on next year's show

image captionRevel Horwood said the only issue was "who's going to go backwards"

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood has predicted there will "probably" be same-sex couples dancing on the show next year.

Prior to the launch show Susan Calman faced criticism for taking part in their absence, and the BBC issued a statement saying they had "no plans" to introduce them.

But Revel Horwood said he is hopeful.

"In the world of competition there are same-sex couples... so there's no reason why that can't happen."

He continued: "The Beeb have to decide whether they want to do that one year. I think it will probably happen next year."

Revel Horwood made the comments on ITV's Lorraine show on Monday.

"I think same-sex couples can exist," he continued. "You only have to decide who's going to go backwards really, that's the only difference.

"If you consider the tango was originally danced between two men anyway... It's powerful, explosive, and the same can happen between two women."

image captionSusan Calman admitted to Tess Daly she was a Kevin Clifton superfan

Calman strongly defended her decision as an openly gay woman to dance with a male professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Scottish comedian was partnered up with Kevin Clifton on Saturday's launch show, becoming emotional as she revealed she had a poster of him in her kitchen.

The Reverend Richard Coles - who was paired with new professional dancer Dianne Buswell - has also said he would be more than happy to dance with a male partner.

Other pairings saw This Morning's Ruth Langsford team up with Anton Du Beke.

JLS singer Aston Merrygold said he was hoping to have a short partner, so was relieved when he was teamed up with Janette Manrara.

On the other end of the height scale, former Emmerdale actress Gemma Atkinson was happy to be teamed up with Aljaz Skorjanec.

Full list of Strictly pairings

image captionThe celebrities competed to see who could be the most excited about their dancing partner
  • Alexandra Burke and Gorka Marquez
  • Aston Merrygold and Janette Manrara
  • Brian Conley and Amy Dowden
  • Charlotte Hawkins and Brendan Cole
  • Chizzy Akudolu and Pasha Kovalev
  • Davood Ghadami and Nadiya Bychkova
  • Debbie McGee and Giovanni Pernice
  • Gemma Atkinson and Aljaz Skorjanec
  • Joe McFadden and Katya Jones
  • Jonnie Peacock and Oti Mabuse
  • Mollie King and AJ Pritchard
  • Rev Richard Coles and Dianne Buswell
  • Ruth Langsford and Anton Du Beke
  • Simon Rimmer and Karen Clifton
  • Susan Calman and Kevin Clifton
image captionAston Merrygold was ecstatic to get Janette Manrara as his dance partner

The launch episode of Strictly Come Dancing was the ratings victor on Saturday, with an average of 8.8 million people tuning in to watch.

Over on ITV, 5.5 million saw The X Factor as it reached its second week.

Strictly's ratings were down on last year's launch show, which drew a record audience of 9.3 million.

The opening show, which had a tribute to former host Sir Bruce Forsyth, had a 44.7% share of the audience, while The X Factor had 27.3%.

The two shows clashed at 20:00 BST, when The X Factor ran against Strictly's last 40 minutes.

image copyrightITV
image captionX Factor hopeful Deanna Mussington was voted through after her audition

The ITV show featured an audition from Deanna Mussington, who flew over from the Caribbean island of Anguilla to perform before the judges.

The 22-year-old has since returned to Anguilla, which has suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Irma.

Sunday night's X Factor programme recorded ratings of 6.39 million and a 29.8% share of the audience.

The X Factor returned last week with an average audience of six million viewers - the lowest launch show ratings since the show began in 2004.

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