Strictly Come Dancing faces backlash over 'family show' reply when accused of rejecting same sex partners

Eggheads star CJ de Mooi says he was turned down by the BBC1 show because he wanted to dance in a same sex pair

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The Independent Online

The BBC has faced a backlash after saying its flagship entertainment programme, Strictly Come Dancing, will not permit same sex couples because it is a “family show”.

CJ de Mooi, from the BBC daytime quiz show Eggheads, said he was turned down by the show’s producers after he said he wanted to dance with a same sex partner.

Mr de Mooi said the show chose to include Eggheads presenter Jeremy Vine instead because of his request.

CJ de Mooi says he was snubbed because he wanted to dance with another man (Getty)

But the BBC’s response to this criticism that “Strictly is a family show and we have chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples” has led to outrage on social media.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Mr de Mooi said he had first approached the producers of the show in March to take part but was told he was not needed in June.

He said:  “I can’t believe they picked Jeremy over me. I’m quite upset. It’s because I wanted to dance in a same-sex couple.

“Someone at the BBC told me at least for the foreseeable future neither Strictly Come Dancing or the US version Dancing With The Stars will have a same-sex couple on. How disappointing.”

A BBC spokesman told Newsbeat that it had never intended to include Mr de Mooi and always preferred Mr Vine

Another spokesman told the Independent: "To avoid any misinterpretation the reference to 'family show' - meaning all kinds of families - was only ever intended to describe the kind of show 'Strictly' is. It was not to explain casting decisions.”