Entertainment & Arts

Strictly: Johannes 'never felt so liberated' after same-sex dance

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Media captionStrictly Come Dancing professionals Johannes and Graziano dance together

Strictly star Johannes Radebe says he feels accepted for the first time in his life after he made history on the show by dancing with another man.

Johannes Radebe and fellow professional Graziano di Prima performed together to Emeli Sande's Shine on Sunday's Strictly Come Dancing results show.

Viewers said they were moved to tears as the series made history with its first individual same-sex dance.

One tweeted that she felt her "heart was going to burst."

Former Strictly winner Joe McFadden congratulated the show for the move.

One viewer said: "We need more of this."

Some viewers found it an emotional moment.

Johannes, who was eliminated from the competition last weekend along with his celebrity partner Catherine Tyldesley, told Hello! magazine: "I've never felt so liberated. 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."

Johannes posted his delight at the performance on Instagram, as did Graziano on Twitter.

But some viewers suggested ratings could drop as a result of the inclusion of same-sex dancing.

Several readers contacted BBC News to say they would stop watching Strictly if same-sex couples became a regular feature of the show.

Former Strictly professional Robin Windsor referred to the negative comments in his tweet but encouraged viewers to just "enjoy the artistry".

Strictly has yet to feature a same-sex competing pair but Dancing on Ice has paired H from Steps with professional skater Matt Evers in the next series of the ITV show early next year.

Radebe, who is gay, has previously discussed the homophobic bullying he received as a child.

Di Prima is in a heterosexual relationship and proposed to his girlfriend Giada Lini live on stage earlier this year.

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