Olympic champion Nicola Adams to join Strictly Come Dancing as part of show's first same-sex couple

Nicola Adams will be part of the first ever Strictly same-sex couple. Credit: PA

Double Olympic champion Nicola Adams will join the Strictly Come Dancing line-up as part of the show's first same-sex couple.

The ex-boxer, the latest celebrity to be announced for the show, will be paired with a female professional dancer in a groundbreaking move for the hit BBC show. Radio DJ and TV presenter Clara Amfo and Good Morning Britain and ITV News presenter Ranvir Singh were also confirmed for the show on Wednesday, joining singer Max George, Jonathan Creek actress Caroline Quentin and former NFL player Jason Bell.

Ms Singh, 43, said feels "complete terror” at the prospect of hitting the dancefloor as part of the new series.

Good Morning Britain and ITV News presenter Ranvir Singh says she hopes to feel 'exhilarated' once she hits the dancefloor. Credit: PA

“Hopefully after the first dance I will feel exhilarated rather than sick!,” she added.

Ms Adams said it was a "big step" for the show to feature a same-sex pairing but was glad "we are able to move on."

"I have told probably three people, so not that many people knew I was going to be in this. I was keeping it a secret. "It's really important. It's a big step for the show and it's nice to see that . I just can't wait to get some dancing done." Asked whether she approached the show about being part of a same-sex pairing, she said: "I asked the show about it. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show but I said 'Yeah, I will do it but I want to dance with another female dance partner.'

"I know it's going to be tough, I know the training is going to be hard and I can't dance at all so this is going to be a totally new challenge for me."

Courtney Act is supportive of Nicola Adams' move. Credit: PA

Australian drag star Courtney Act has said Ms Adams’ same-sex pairing will “flip people’s expectations on their head”.

Last year, Act made history as part of the first same-sex couple to feature on Dancing With The Stars Australia, part of the Strictly franchise.

Act, the alter-ego of Shane Jenek, said Ms Adams’ presence in the line-up would inspire young women.

The 38-year-old said: “I’m so excited to see Nicola on the dance floor and finally see a same-sex coupling on Strictly. I think people will be shocked that the sky doesn’t fall in.

“I’m excited as well because Nicola is going to be the leader, so in ballroom there is a leader and follower – some people might know these as the man or the woman roles.

“I’m excited to have her flip people’s expectations on their head when she is spinning across the dance floor and lifting and leading.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey, a long-standing Strictly fan, praised the BBC for “breaking new ground”.

Clara Amfo is among the new Strictly line-up. Credit: PA

Ms Amfo hosts the 10am-1pm BBC Radio 1 slot, home to the Live Lounge music performances.

She said: "As we know this year has been a real challenge and escapism through dancing is something I know we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro and live a fantasy is something that I can't wait to fully embrace, see you on the dancefloor!" Mr George, 31, sixty-year-old Mr Quentin and Mr Bell, 42, were all unveiled on Tuesday’s The One Show.

Singer Alexandra Burke was one of the contestants in Strictly Come Dancing 2017. Credit: PA

Boxer Adams, who won gold at both the London 2012 Olympics and Rio 2016, is dating Ella Baig and has been praised as an LGBT role model.

The show will be shorter this year because of precautions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The show would usually return at the end of September, with the final just before Christmas, but its 2020 launch is expected to be slightly delayed.