Denise van Outen wants to see same-sex dance couples on Strictly

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Denise van Outen has spoken out in favour of same-sex dance couples on the show.

To date, only opposite-sex couples have competed in the popular BBC dance show, which pairs celebrities up with professional dancers – but judge Craig Revel Horwood recently suggested changes will take place over the next two seasons to remove the gender rules.

Professional dancer James Jordan – who was dropped from the show last year – rallied against the move, claimed: “It’s wrong. I think they would lose so many viewers.”

However, Denise van Outen, who competed in the show in 2012 with Jordan as her partner and came second, said she would like to see changes.

She told the Metro: “Bring it on.

“Gay couples have the right to marry, so they should have the right to dance together.”

Her comments come after Dr Christian Jessen weighed in against the plans.

The Embarrassing Bodies host said: “I think dancing traditionally is a man leading a woman.

“I think it’ll look faintly ridiculous personally. But I don’t think that’s any sort of statement of, ‘We don’t approve of this, that or the other’ at all. I just think it’ll look silly quite frankly, and I think a man and a woman look better dancing together.

Of his own chances of being on the show, he said: “As a gay man I’m an appalling dancer, which I know just doesn’t fit with the stereotype. But I’m really, really … I’m clunky and gangly and awful.

He added: “I think it becomes a little bit too political sometimes and I think if you wave that flag a little bit too hard you’re in danger of knocking people over whilst you do so.

“I don’t care in the slightest about that, I’m quite happy to see a gay man dancing with a woman. I mean, come on, it’s like saying as a gay man you’re not allowed to have female friends. There are limits I think to how far we take it.”