Jason Gardiner has said he hopes Dancing On Ice‘s decision to have same-sex couples will be “handled correctly and with dignity”.
It was recently revealed that contestant Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins will become the first star to be paired up in a same-sex dance pairing.
Jason, who left the show as a judge earlier this year, expressed concerns over how ITV will treat the new format.
Speaking on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine Show, Jason said: “All I hope is that it isn’t tokenism. That they don’t make it camp and flamboyant and it’s a proper partnership because it has to also have that romance.
“I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.”
When asked whether he thinks it won’t be handled properly, Jason added: “Well, it is ITV. Sorry ITV, but you know, it’s true.
“Will it become stereotypical? On mainstream media we’re fine to do camp with gay men, but we don’t want gay men to be romantic.
“I hope it’s not made light of… well, it is ITV.”
Jason Gardiner addresses Dancing on Ice finally having same-sex couples, saying although he’s pleased by the move, he fears it might just be “tokenism”.@officialJasonG | @TheJeremyVine | #DancingOnIce | #JeremyVine pic.twitter.com/vK5h0ebbk6
— Jeremy Vine On 5 (@JeremyVineOn5) October 17, 2019
“We don’t really want to see that. This is an opportunity for them to break the ice.”
It comes after a source told The Sun: “After conversations with the Dancing On Ice production team, H enquired as to the possibility of being paired with a male pro skater.
“Bosses at Dancing On Ice are fully supportive of a same-sex partnership, so this year H will be paired with Matt.
I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.
“It’s a huge moment in TV history. A lot of viewers will be watching and the hope is it might set a trend.”
Jason left the show as a judge back in August, saying he wants to “return to things I have been putting on the back burner for a while”.
He will be replaced by I’m A Celebrity star John Barrowman.
John recently spoke about the show’s decision to introduce same-sex pairings, telling This Morning: “You know what, it’s a same-sex partnership. It’s the first.
“Let’s do it this way, be supportive as a community, the LGBTQ community and everybody else.
“Let’s be supportive of this and let’s see how they do. Let’s see if they’re gonna be good.”
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