Shirley Ballas on the future of LGBTQ+ couples on Strictly Come Dancing

Virgin Radio

27 Jun 2022, 13:13

Shirley Ballas

Credit: Getty

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas has teased the show has got something big up its sleeve this year. 

Speaking exclusively to at the LGBT Awards on Friday (24 June), the dance icon said she hoped things would continue after John Whaite and Johannes Radebe became the first same-sex couple to compete on the show. 

The Strictly Come Dancing judge said: “I hope so. You know the first of the professionals will be announced very shortly and then also the lineup, and I think it's going to be amazing. 

“Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, it will.”

We cannot wait!

John and Johannes ended up taking home the trophy for best media moment for their couples' choice dance when competing on Strictly at the LGBT Awards last week, and Shirley commended the BBC show for giving them the opportunity. 

She added: “Strictly took a chance I feel, you know, they’re like the front runners, and they came out and brought these two beautiful souls together, and I think it just shows the world that you have to accept. 

“That’s what the viewers did, they supported John and Johannes week in and week out and they made the final against all odds. They delivered the dancing, and they did it justice. So I think it was absolutely iconic.”

Speaking about the moment she watched John and Johannes perform their incredible routine, she said it brought her to tears. 

She explained: “It was breathtaking. Motsi [Mabuse] and I were in tears, we were just in tears. First of all, they’re fantastic dancers. But you know, Jean Kelly and Fred Astaire, they all danced together, so why not? You know they really did the whole industry proud. So I was very, very proud they made the final.”

Johannes also expressed his desire for having more LGBT representation on the dancing show and stated it had been “a long time coming”.

Also speaking exclusively to, the dancer said: “I mean I would love to see that continue, and I’m the biggest advocate. If they need anybody, call me!”

He added of his appearance on the show with John: “It’s so beautiful because I realised we do have a long way to go, but Strictly just proved to everybody that it’s really possible and even people’s lives would change through doing, you know, a television programme on a Saturday night. That is the incredible thing.”