The openly gay TV doctor won’t be allowed to dance with another man.
In keeping with tradition, in more ways that one, Doctor Ranj Singh, despite identifying as gay, will only be allowed to dance with a woman on the BBC’s flagship show, Strictly Come Dancing.
According to the statement released by the BBC, “Strictly has chosen the longstanding ballroom dancing format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples”.
Dr Ranj has spoken about his desire to dance with a man on the show. He told the Mirror, “I would love to dance with a same-sex partner. I would value a time when same-sex couples could dance on shows like Strictly. It is incredibly important. We are making progress but there is still time to go.”
Dr Ranj is not the first Strictly alum to talk about same-sex dance partners. Former contestant Reverend Richard Coles said, “We’ve had a discussion about it, actually, and I don’t know. It makes absolutely no sense that anybody resists the idea, in principle. It’s just a question of doing it.”
Judge Craig Revel Horwood also said that he could see same-sex dance couples working on the show saying, “I think a same-sex couple can exist. You only have to decide who’s going to go backwards,” he said. “In the world of competitions, there are same-sex couples that do it as well so there is no reason that can’t happen. The Beeb just have to decide if it’s something they want to do.”
For the show, the doctor has been teamed up with Janette Manrara, who has danced with Peter Andre, Aston Merrygold, Melvin Odoom and Julien Macdonald in previous seasons of the hit show.
Dr Ranj is the latest contestant to take part in the show who publicly identifies as lesbian gay or bisexual. As of 2018 there have been no transgender contestants on the show and as a whole Strictly’s casting has woefully unrepresented openly LGBT+ people. No one from the LGBT+ community has ever won the competition.
Of 207 contestants since the shows premier in 2004 these are the openly LGB stars of the show.
Jason Wood was the first openly gay person to take part in the show in 2004. He was paried with Kylie Jones and was voted out in week 2.
Julian Clary performed alongside Erin Boag and came third.
Colin Jackson appeared in the third season, however, he was not openly gay at that time. He came second in the competition.
Russell Grant danced with Flavia Cacace and was booted in week 8.
Scott Mills was paired with Joanne Clifton and was voted out in week 6.
Will Young appeared in the show and danced with Karen Clifton until he with withdrew in week 3.
Judge Rinder danced alongside Oksana Platero and was voted out in week 11.
Rev Richard Coles danced with Dianne Buswell and was voted out in week 3.
Susan Calman danced with Kevin Clifton and was voted out in week 10.
Dr Ranj Singh danced opposite Janette Manrara