The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Strictly Come Dancing: Susan Calman defends decision to dance with a male partner

Scottish comedian said she was getting more abuse than the openly gay men who have danced on the show with female partners

Strictly Come Dancing 2017 - Launch Trailer

Susan Calman has defended her decision to dance with a male professional dancer on Strictly Come Dancing.

The Scottish comedian and writer, who is openly gay, has received criticism on social media for taking part in the show, because it does not feature same-sex dancing couples.

Calman said she was offended by the reaction, adding: "No one can say I haven't stood up for my community.”

Calman is one of 15 celebrities taking to the dance floor on the BBC One contest, who will find out who their professional partners are in the launch show, broadcast on 9 September.

The 42-year-old said she was “absolutely not disappointed” that she would not be paired with a woman and that it was her decision to dance with a man.

She told the BBC: “I think politically, there's nothing more powerful than having an openly gay woman on the biggest show on television, whose wife's on the front row, doing what she wants to do.”

"For the gay community to criticise me and try to get me what they want to do is, I think, as difficult as suggesting the straight community are trying to.

"No one is holding me hostage in this room, making me wear a dress and dance with a man. I want to learn how to dance."

Calman also suggested she was receiving more flack as a gay woman than gay male contestants had done on the dance show - including The Reverend Richard Coles, a fellow member of the ”class of 2017“.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

”I have protested, I have picketed, I have fought, I have been spat on, I have been punched - and I want to dance,“ she said.

She implied that she was getting more abuse as a woman than the openly gay men who have appeared on the show and danced with female partners.

"Will Young didn't get it, Judge Rinder didn't get it, Richard Coles isn't getting it. It seems to me as a woman, he's not getting it the same way I am.

”And for me to be getting it is, I think, unfair. I seem to be getting the brunt of the LGBT community.“

​A Strictly Come Dancing spokeswoman said: “Strictly has chosen the traditional format of mixed-sex couples and at the moment we have no plans to introduce same-sex couples in the competition."

Judges Darcey Bussell, Craig Revel-Horwood, and Bruno Tonioli are all set to return for the new series of Strictly.

This year will also introduce new judge Shirley Ballas, who replaces Len Goodman as Head Judge, following his departure at the end of the 2016 series.

Strictly Come Dancing launches at 7pm on Saturday 9 September, on BBC One

Follow Independent Culture on Facebook

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in