Nicola Adams has told of her -excitement at becoming the first celebrity to have a same-sex -pairing on Strictly Come Dancing.
And the Olympic Gold boxer said it was her idea to join up with a female -professional for the show next month.
The Mirror yesterday exclusively revealed Nicola was to become one half of Strictly’s first same-sex partnerships.
The 37-year-old said: “I asked the show about it. They wanted to know if I wanted to be on the show and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it, but I want to dance with another female.’
“It’s really important, it’s a big step for the show as well. It’s nice to see that we’re able to move on. I just can’t wait to get some dancing done, really.”
Paying tribute to show bosses for allowing her to break with convention, Nicola added: “I want to thank the BBC for supporting me and making me the first ever all female-pairing. And it’s amazing to be a part of the movement for change, diversity and breaking boundaries in the -entertainment industry.”
She also feels the move sent an -important message to youngsters who might be -grappling with their sexuality.
Nicola said: “I think it’s really important. It’s definitely time for change, it’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse and this is a brilliant step in the right direction. It’ll be nice for the LGBT community to see there are same-sex couples on the show.”
It was not yet known which pro dancer Nicola, who retired from boxing last year following an eye injury that threatened her sight, will be paired with. The most likely contenders are Janette Manrara, Dianne Buswell, Katya Jones or Karen Hauer.
But the 5ft 4in former athlete revealed she does not mind who it is – as long as they do not tower over her.
She said: “All the dancers are really good so I don’t mind which person I’m paired with, I’d only be wanting someone who’s on the short side because I’m a little bit small.”
And Nicola promised to give it her all on the show. She added: “People might know me from work in the ring, but I’ll be every bit as passionate and dedicated on the dancefloor too. I just can’t wait to get going. It’s something new, a big adventure, a big challenge.
“I can’t dance at all. The only thing I’ve been doing is TikToks, that’s as far as my dancing goes.”
But Nicola believes her sports training will help. She said: “I’ll be using that to my advantage. I’m used to hard, long training sessions so that part of it should be a walk in the park.
“I’ll have an easier job controlling my nerves when it comes to the competition side of things. I”m used to boxing in front of 20,000 people. Where I’m going to struggle is when it comes to the routines, the choreography.”
Nicola, who has been with girlfriend Ella Baig for two years, was speaking from the island of Mykonos where she is on holiday.
Asked whether she was worried about Greece being added to the UK’s list of Covid-19 quarantine countries, she replied: “I’ll be back in time. I never miss training.”
Other stars to be announced yesterday were Good Morning Britain’s political editor Ranvir Singh and Radio 1’s Clara Amfo. Ranvir admitted she was filled with “complete terror” by the prospect. And Clara said: “Escapism through dancing is something we all enjoy, so to be taught by a pro is something I can’t wait to embrace.”
Strictly is due to start its shorter run on BBC1, with 12 celebrities, at the end of October.