Will Young hits out at ‘insulting’ obsession with Strictly Come Dancing same-sex partners

Will Young has criticised the idea gay Strictly contestants must dance with a person of the same sex.

Will danced with professional Karen Clifton on the 2016 series of the show, but quit after three weeks.

He’s now opened up in his podcast, HomoSapiens, about the row over same-sex dance partners.

Comedian Susan Calman has been criticised by some for wanting to dance with a man on the show, while being married to a woman.

Some claimed she was letting LGBT activists down – something the Radio 4 host fiercely disagreed with.

Addressing the issue for the first time since he left the show, Will told HomoSapiens co-host Chris Sweeney: “You’re occupying your male sexuality whether that is gay or not.

“When I danced with my partner Karen [Clifton], we did the Tango to David Bowie – it was our first dance. I bloody loved it!

“It was all about a connection. I didn’t try and pretend that I wanted to screw her, I was just taking on the character.

“And I think actually I would find it more insulting if someone was like, ‘ You’ve got to dance with a man because you’re gay’. It’s the same as acting, it’s like, no, I don’t!’”
will young

He added that he loved the experience of having a female dance partner while a contestant on the show himself.

“I loved being close to a woman,” he explained. “I was like, ‘This is great!’ And she’s a lot lighter to lift than a man – I mean I could not have done that Bollywood Salsa with a man who’s 13 stone.

“She was light, she was like a panther – and then I quit! Well, to be honest, I’d reached the zenith of my ballroom career.”

His comments come after fellow 2016 gay contestant Judge Rinder slammed those calling for same-sex dance pairings.

The TV judge told Lorraine Kelly: “I don’t think it’s going to make any difference to the life of any young person – and there are a lot of young people that find it very difficult to come out in the LGBTQI community – if she dances with an almost straight woman.

“But there are amazing charities that do need our assistance, whether she dances with a man or not is going to make no difference to anybody.”

The BBC says it has no plans to introduce same-sex partners on this year’s Strictly.

A spokesperson confirmed that the prime time show would continue to follow a “traditional format” after fans and some contestants challenged the broadcaster’s decision.

“Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition,” the BBC said.

You can hear the full podcast at HomoSapiens.