Strictly praised for featuring same-sex dance partners (VIDEO)

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The show included a routine featuring all male back up dancers last weekend.

Strictly Come Dancing has been praised for featuring same sex couples during last weekend’s special Blackpool edition.

During Saturday’s show, Eastenders star Kellie Bright and professional partner Kevin Clifton performed a well-received quickstep to Dolly Parton’s classic tune 9 to 5.

Strictly praised for featuring same-sex dance partners (VIDEO)

As well as bagging themselves a ’10’ from the judges, the routine also received praise for featuring same-sex dance partners.

The pair were joined on the dance floor by a number of back up dancers – all male – who danced ballroom throughout the performance.

Audience members, dance enthusiasts and even It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball championed the move on Twitter.

However, some viewers said they would prefer to see a same-sex couple form part of the main line-up in the future.

It is the first time partners of the same sex have been seen dancing together on Strictly since last year’s series.

Before the current series began, the BBC were forced to refute a claim by a television star who said he was blocked from appearing on the show after he requested a male dance partner.

CJ de Mooi – who has starred in the Eggheads game show – said he was snubbed by the programme after he said he wanted a same-sex dance partner.

A BBC spokesperson told PinkNews that producers had hoped had always hoped to get Jeremy Vine – presenter of Eggheads – for the show, rather than de Mooi.

“We didn’t ever approach nor did we have any plans to approach CJ to participate in this year’s series of Strictly Come Dancing. CJ’s agent gave us the opportunity to consider him but there was only one person we ever wanted from Eggheads and that was Jeremy Vine and we are delighted that we got our man,” a spokesperson said.

Strictly praised for featuring same-sex dance partners (VIDEO)

Judge Craig Revel Horwood previously confirmed changes will take place in the next two seasons to remove the gender rules – but now doubts that will happen until at least 2016.

However, former Strictly dancer James Jordan caused controversy by saying that having a same sex couple dancing on the show would be “wrong” because “they would lose so many viewers.

Watch Kellie and Kevin’s performance below.