Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing: Bruno Tonioli 'sad' about same-sex dance complaints

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Media captionStrictly Come Dancing professionals Johannes and Graziano dance together

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli has said the fact that around 200 people complained about the show's first same sex routine is "very sad".

Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe danced together on the 3 November show.

The BBC's latest complaints log shows that 189 people found it "offensive".

Bruno said: "It's hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that [around] 200 people felt so upset they complained when two men danced with each other."

Professional dancer Kevin Clifton added his voice, writing: "What on earth were they complaining about? It was ace."

The BBC's latest complaints round-up revealed that 189 people had got in touch to protest that it was "offensive to feature two men dancing as a pair".

Almost 10.5 million people tuned in to the results show during which Graziano and Johannes performed while pop star Emeli Sande sang her single Shine. Fellow professionals Aljaz Skorjanec and Luba Mushtuk also took part in the routine.

Image caption Luba and Aljaz joined Johannes and Graziano during Emeli Sande's performance

Commenting on a story about the 189 complaints, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly added: "But made millions and millions of us very very happy."

In response to the complaints, the BBC 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."

'So liberated'

After the dance, Johannes 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."

Strictly Come Dancing, which is in its 17th series, has not featured a same sex pairing between a celebrity and a professional.

Dancing on Ice will have one such couple early next year when Steps singer Ian "H" Watkins teams up with professional skater Matt Evers.

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