Dancing on Ice’s historic same-sex pairing was so moving it brought John Barrowman to tears

Dancing on Ice

Dancing on Ice returned to our screens last night with a historic same-sex pairing, and the moment was so perfect it moved gay judge John Barrowman to tears.

The reality show made TV history as it introduced its first-ever competitive pairing between two gay men, Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins and pro skater Matt Evers.

With huge grins on their faces the duo skated to Panic! At The Disco‘s ‘High Hopes,’ the song choice hinting at exciting things to come from the new series.

New judge John Barrowman could be seen welling up as the pair glided across the rink together. After the performance he explained just how significant it was to a gay man like himself.

Tears streaking down his face, he said: “I am [emotional]. That makes me happy on a compete multitude of levels just because of seeing two men who represent someone who is like me, and to skate as well as you did, you’ve done it now, the nerves are out of the way.

“You’ve shown that two men can perform and skate together. It doesn’t have to be what you did before with the man/woman thing…you know, man/man, switch it up, do it different ways.

“Be versatile, you know what I’m saying? Listen… I’m overwhelmed. I’m almost speechless. It was wonderful.”

Dancing on Ice

The highly-anticipated routine wowed viewers (ITV)

It was also a huge moment for Watkins’ skating partner Evers, a Dancing on Ice regular who for the past 11 seasons had been paired with women.

“I’ve wanted this for so long, and it means so much to so many people…and the world is ready for this,” he said.

“I just have to say, thank you to the network, thank you to ITV and thank you to everybody at home who is accepting of this because this is normal!”

Watkins later posted on Instagram: “WE DID IT!!!!!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE for your messages of love and support! I’m totally gobsmacked! But tonight’s skate was bigger than Matt & I… it was a message of equality and inclusion! Let it resound across the world!”

Viewers were thrilled by the “outstanding” performance and took to Twitter to congratulate the pair.