Heterosexual comedian chooses same-sex partner for Strictly as ‘boys ain’t strong enough’

Jayde Adams will dance with Karen Hauer Wyn-Jones, saying that she preferred the idea of lifting a female partner to being lifted herself

Jayde Adams is keen to try her hand at a racy Argentine tango on the show Credit: PA

A comedian who is heterosexual has chosen a same-sex partner for her appearance on Strictly Come Dancing because the male partners “ain’t strong enough”, in a first for the programme.

Comedian Jayde Adams, 37, from Bristol, who is married to Clayton Wright, is dancing with Karen Hauer Wyn-Jones this year. She said she had told producers she would not mind dancing with either a male or female partner, adding that she preferred the idea of lifting a female partner rather than being lifted herself.

She said that when she “imagined myself being on this show and I manifested it years ago I thought to myself it would be better if it was a woman because I would be able to lift her”.

Adams added jokingly that she did not “want to offend all the boys on the show but they ain’t strong enough and that ain’t my fault”.

“So I’m super strong and I just knew with an athlete like Karen - we’ve got completely different body types but we have so much strength in our partnership. We’ve already done a couple of lifts and that girl is going up and I cannot wait. We did a bit yesterday, I can already feel Karen in my biceps.”

Karen Hauer Wyn-Jones has been partnered to dance with Jayde Adams in the upcoming season of Strictly Come Dancing

Adams added that she was full of anticipation to try her hand at a racy Argentine tango.

Having watched the show since 2004, she recalled a 2006 performance of the tango on the show from Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy to the James Bond theme tune as nothing less than a “sexual awakening”.

“For me, it’s my favourite dance but it’ll also be the one I’m worst at. So it’s like my Everest, we can get to a point where my dancer feels we can do it,” she said.

Alongside Adams and Hauer Wyn-Jones, another same-sex pairing will be seen with Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson teaming up with Giovanni Pernice. Richie, 34, who is gay, said that when he was offered the show and given a choice about his partner’s gender, he went home and asked his boyfriend Dean Eagles about it, who said that as it was their ten-year anniversary in October, “you have to dance with a man”.

Radio 2 presenter Richie Anderson has been teamed up with Giovanni Pernice

He added: “And then I remember watching John and Johannes last year and Nicola and Katya the year before and I kind of thought, when I was growing up as a teenager, figuring out what I am and what I’m not…I wish I would have seen that on prime-time television.”

Strictly’s first same-sex pairing was former boxer Nicola Adams and Katya Jones in 2020, followed by the show’s first all-male couple in 2021, former Great British Bake Off contestant John Whaite and Johannes Radebe. Radebe also danced with another of the show’s professional dancers, Graziano di Prima, in 2019.

This year’s lineup for the show also includes Gold Paralympian Ellie Simmonds paired with Nikita Kuzmin; Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton, paired with Gorka Marquez; former Hear’Say singer and Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh, paired with Graziano di Prima; former England manager Tony Adams, paired with Katya Jones; Matt Goss, former lead singer of 80s band Bros, paired with Nadiya Bychkova; singer and radio presenter Fleur East, paired with Vito Coppola; former Hollyoaks actor Will Mellor, paired with Nancy Xu; Loose Women presenter Kaye Adams, paired with Kaye Widdrington; KISS FM DJ Tyler West, paired with Dianne Busrell; Eastenders actor James Bye, paired with Amy Dowden; wildlife photographer Hamza Yassin, paired with Jowita Przystal; and comedian Ellie Taylor, paired with Johannes Radebe. The youngest contestant this year is 21-year-old Molly Rainford, who presents and acts in CBBC’s Nova Jones, and has been paired with Carlos Gu.

The contestants of this year's Strictly Come Dancing Credit: PA
Ellie Simmonds says she has had supportive messages from fans about taking part, especially from within the dwarfism community Credit: PA

Simmonds, a 27-year-old former Paralympian swimmer, said that she hoped taking part in the 2022 series of Strictly would inspire people of different disabilities to dance.

She said she had had supportive messages from fans about taking part, especially from within the dwarfism community “which for me is just, it gets me emotional really”.

“Not just in the UK but worldwide because I think I’m the first individual with dwarfism to do it in the UK,” she said.

“It’s new. Nikita has never danced with an individual with dwarfism and I’ve never danced in my life so how are we going to work it out, how are we going to adapt it? It’s the unknown,” she said.

“We’ll just see,” she said, adding, “how am I going to grab him - I mean hold him?”

“It’s so lovely. I think similar to Richie, when I was a kid if I saw someone with dwarfism doing a dancing show on a Saturday night, it would just be something so special.”