Ian ‘H’ Watkins ‘cried tears of joy’ after making Dancing on Ice debut with same-sex partner Matt Evers

Dancing on Ice

Dancing on Ice star Ian ‘H’ Watkins has revealed he cried “tears of joy” after he performed the show’s first-ever same-sex dance pairing alongside professional skater Matt Evers.

The former member of Steps pushed for a same-sex pairing since he was cast in the 2020 series, which begins in January. He and Evers gave viewers a taste of what’s to come during Dancing On Ice‘s Christmas special on Sunday.

As they came out onto the ice the pair did a “cheers to change” before skating to Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas’, with Watkins showing off some of his newly-learned moves.

Moments after it aired he took to Instagram to share his happiness with his followers.

“Tonight has been emotional. I’ve cried tears of joy! Never did I think this would happen. But tonight, Matt & I have made a little piece of history!” he wrote.

“Thank you for all your messages of support and for letting me be my authentic self. Thanks to @itv for championing the LGBTQ community and its allies.”

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He continued: “Now the hard work begins… I promise we won’t let you down!”

After their short performance ended, Evers told viewers: “This is my 12th series of Dancing on Ice and this year is pretty special. [This journey] is going to mean a lot to a lot of people in this country and around the world.”

The routine wowed viewers, too – and bookies are already predicting the pair will be among the favourites to win the show.

So proud of the both of you and you were amazing on the ice and that you are making history for the community and being the first sex same couple to dance on the ice. And looking forward to watching you the both of you skate on the ice on the competition #DancingOnIce

— Danielle Rice (@DanixRx) December 22, 2019

So excited for this finally a breakthrough! Needed too happen! Love u guys #TeamHandMatt xx

— Natasha Stewart Soap lover ❤ (@Natasha1996Xx) December 22, 2019

It’s about time, darling. ????.
Thanks to ITV.
I can’t wait to watch you both, every week.
Your going to be amazing. ???⛸.

— shelley silver (@shelleysilver3) December 22, 2019

You and Matt have our support, it was so good to see this happen, been far to long. From Seven Sisters near Neath, good luck ❤️??????????????

— Helen Lawrence (@helenlaw73) December 22, 2019

And catching up with #DancingOnIce – So pleased to see H and Matt together on the ice. Rooting for these boys and so proud of them both.

— Ian Ahti Lehtinen (@GlambertUK71) December 22, 2019

Ian ‘H’ Watkins and Matt Evers just made history becoming the first same-sex pair on #DancingOnIce It might not seem much to some, but this has the potential to smash down so many barriers and also let struggling #LGBTQ+ youth know they’re not alone. Representation matters. pic.twitter.com/HqtcbVDGRR

— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) December 22, 2019

Dancing on Ice is set to return to screens on Sunday 5 January at 6pm on ITV.