Strictly Come Dancing’s Giovanni Pernice is reportedly the favourite to be in a same-sex dancing couple for this year’s upcoming BBC series.
The Italian professional dancer, 31, would be likely to be paired with Radio 2 DJ Richie Anderson who has already confirmed he will be partnered with a man.
It comes as Loose Women star and recently-announced celebrity contestant Kaye Adams has revealed she would like to be paired with a gay dance partner on the show.
Exciting: Strictly’s Giovanni Pernice is reportedly the favourite to be in a same-sex dancing couple for this year’s upcoming BBC series
Last year’s same-sex coupling was between Bake Off star John Whaite, 33, and Johannes Radebe, 35, and they finished as runners up to Giovanni and his partner EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis.
The year before there was a female same-sex coupling between dancer Katya Jones and boxer Nicola Adams.
Giovanni told The Sun of his potential pairing: ‘If the production people come to me and say ‘listen Giovanni we’d love for you to be partnered with a man’, I’d say ‘yes’.
‘It would give me a chance to challenge myself with new routines, you have to think more about it. I love challenging myself.’
Having her say: It comes as Loose Women star and recently-announced celebrity contestant Kaye Adams has revealed she would like to be paired with a gay dance partner on the show
A source added to the publication: ‘Giovanni is really keen for the challenge and wants to show fans he can dance just as well with a man as with a woman.
‘He is extremely competitive and had lots of ideas for the choreography.’
Strictly and reps for Giovanni have been contacted by MailOnline for a comment.
It comes after earlier this week DJ Richie, 34, revealed he will be joining the 2022 series during his radio show, and joins Coronation Street stars Will Mellor and Kym Marsh, Kaye and comedian Jayde Adams in the current line-up.
Plan: The Italian professional dancer, 31, would be likely to be partnered with Radio 2 DJ Richie Anderson (pictured) who has already confirmed he will be partnered with a man
The former Sunday League footballer – who went viral in 2018 when he came out as gay to his teammates at Coombs Wood F.C in an emotional documentary – said that it’s a ‘massive honour’ to be part of the show’s all-male partnership.
He said in a release: ‘This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world! Strictly is the ultimate feel good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.
‘I’m going to have to cancel my legendary ‘Strictly’ launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand.’
Chuffed: The former Sunday League footballer said this week that it’s a ‘massive honour’ to be part of the show’s all-male partnership
He added: ‘It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.’
Meanwhile Scottish TV star Kaye, 59, has revealed she would like to be in a couple with a gay dance partner.
She told The Mirror: ‘I don’t want a heterosexual.
‘I would feel embarrassed for them – because a young, hot heterosexual will be like he’s dancing with his mum.
Talented: Last year’s series saw Great British Bake Off star John Waite form the show’s first all-male partnership with pro Johannes Radebe – with the couple reaching the final
‘But if I got a nice gay guy, he’ll be fine with dancing with his mum.’
She added that she does fear she might be kicked out after the first week due to her lack of dance skills but plans on making the most of her time on the show.
Kaye went on to explain that she feels ‘terrified’ about doing the show and that everything in her wanted to say no to the offer – but she wanted to push herself.
In 2018, Richie famously came out as gay to his Sunday league football teammates during a feature for The One Show exploring homophobia in the sport.
Groundbreaking: 2020 saw the show’s first ever same-sex pairing with boxer Nicola Adams and Katya Jones – however the duo had to withdraw after Katya caught Covid
The team knew Richie was filming a piece for the daily BBC One programme, but it wasn’t until he sat them down in the locker room after the match that they discovered he was looking into the issues around being gay in grassroots football.
‘One of the big issues we’ve looked at this week, erm, it’s really close to my heart, is homophobia in football,’ Richie began.
‘The reason why that means a lot to me is – I’m a gay footballer. So I just wanted to be open and honest with you lot. It’s just been class.
‘This is really hard for me to do…’ he added, before his teammates began to applaud him.
Richie went on to say he was ‘So, so relieved. I can’t even tell you.’
He continued: ‘I expected it as they’re a good bunch of lads. It probably helped that I scored as well, but I’m so relieved.
‘The main thing is, I hope there’s people watching this that are in the same boat I was in, and they’re thinking, ‘You know what? I can do that as well.”
Hopes: Meanwhile Scottish TV star Kaye, 59, has revealed she would like to be in a couple with a gay dance partner. She told The Mirror: ‘I don’t want a heterosexual. I would feel embarrassed for them – as a young, hot heterosexual will be like he’s dancing with his mum’