Strictlys Richie Anderson shares importance of same-sex pro pairing with Giovanni Pernice

Strictly Come Dancingkicked off with an incredible launch episode on Friday that sawthis year’s contestantspair up with the dancing pros and an exciting first group dance.

Among the pairings for the 2022 series was Radio 2’s DJ Richie Anderson,who previously called going on the show a “dream come true”.

At the time of his announcement on the show Richie, 34, spoke out about the importance of himself going on the show andbeing part of an all-male pair.

For this series, Richie has been partnered with proGiovanni Perniceand after the pair were announced to be forming a partnership Richie spoke out about how he felt.

“Do you know what's so lovely, when they called me up to be on Strictly… they said it's up to you if you want to dance with a female partner or a male partner,” said Richie.

He added: “I went home and spoke to my other half, we celebrate our 10 year anniversary in October, and he said, 'You have to!'.”

He added that his partner Dean Eagles said Richie had to go on the show “this year to dance with a man”.

Richie said: “And I wish when I was growing up as a teenager and working out what I was and what I wasn't that I would have had that representation on a Saturday night on primetime TV. So it was a bit of a no brainer for me.”

DJ Richie has been in a relationship with partner Dean for almost a decade.

Last year Giovanni won the show with Rose Ayling-Ellis and Richie said he was excited to work with the pro dancer this year.

He said: “I know I'm so excited. You know what? I absolutely love him because we've had him on Radio 2 a couple of times. He's such a nice guy, him and Rose last year were epic, I mean, that couples' choice dance – was there a dry eye in the nation when they did that?”.

Richie added that Giovanni is such a “great teacher and such a great guy”.

“I move like a folded ironing board so I feel like I'm in good hands with him. Like, if anybody could get these hips moving, it's Giovanni Pernice”.

Fans of Radio 2 may be familiar with Richie as he presents the travel bulletins on Zoe Ball's Breakfast Show and has also hosted a variety of shows on the station, including the coverage of this year’s Eurovision.

Away from radio, Sunday league footballer Richie is often seen on The One Show and received an RTS Award for 'Best Short-Form Presenter’ in 2018 after shining a light on homophobia in the sport and personally coming out to his teammates.


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