Ann Widdecombe sparks outrage over ‘repulsive’ remarks about Strictly’s same-gender couple

Isobel van Hagen
Tuesday 20 October 2020 07:00
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(Getty)

A former lawmaker known for anti-LGBTQ voting record is under fire once again, unsurprisingly, for saying people don’t want to watch a same-gender couple dance on television.

BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing series 18 debut earlier this week featured the programme’s first ever same-gender couple, with Olympic champion boxer Nicola Adams paired with dancer Katya Jones.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the former Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe – who herself was a contestant on the show in 2010 – said:

I don’t think it is what viewers of Strictly, especially families, are looking for. But that’s up to the audience and the programme.

This was met with a flurry of backlash, with people called the comments "harmful", "repulsive" and old-fashioned.

“If you’ve got a problem with Nicola Adams dancing with a woman on Strictly then it’s just that - *you’ve* got a problem and that problem is called homophobia,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Erm.....no Ann Widdecombe!! ‘Families’ do want to so don’t you dare try & generalise your disgraceful homophobic views onto the rest of us. Our family can’t wait see watch @bbcstrictly this year. Our kids were so excited to see @NicolaAdamsOBE & @Mrs_katjones paired,” another said.

This is certainly not the first time Widdecombe has been accused of homophobia, making people wonder why she had been given a platform in the first place.

“We shouldn’t expect any less from this proven homophobe. And the likes of Strictly and Channel 4 are partly to blame for legitimising her views by giving her platforms as some ‘national treasure’,” Declan Cashin tweeted.

“It's weird because i have literally never looked for ann widdecombe's opinion about anything and yet here she is,” Mollie Goodfellow added.

Clearly the country is not in agreement with the right-wing politician, as Saturday's episode marked the show’s highest ratings in three years after nine million viewers tuned in to watch the couple.

Thank goodness for that.

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