Holly Willoughby is ‘proud’ of the first same-sex dance partners on Dancing on Ice

Holly Willoughby dancing on ice

Holly Willoughby has said that she is “very proud” of the first-ever same-sex dance partners to feature on Dancing on Ice.

Former Steps member Ian ‘H’ Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers will be the first-ever same-sex couple to compete on the popular ice dancing show, which kicks off its new series in January 2020.

Speaking ahead of the new series Willoughby, who will host the show with Phillip Schofield, said that although the change was “groundbreaking” she thinks it should have happened sooner.

According to Metro, she added: “I think what that symbolises and what that means on how far we’ve come.

“A primetime show has a same-sex couple skating together and why shouldn’t they?

“It should have been happening a long time ago. For that reason, I’m very proud of Dancing on Ice.”

Her co-host Schofield, who Willoughby also presents ITV’s This Morning with, previously said: “What’s lovely about same-sex couples is that it’s a big deal this year and then, whether Strictly or whoever does it next year, it won’t be such a big deal.

“What we are more interested in is the dynamics of skating and how they work together.”

Watkins, who is openly gay, also revealed that he cried “tears of joy” after he performed as one half of the show’s first-ever same-sex dance pairing for the Dancing on Ice Christmas special on December 22.

Giving viewers a taste of what’s to come, the pair came out onto the ice and did a “cheers to change” before skating to Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas’.

Watkins wrote on Instagram: “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!

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