Gemma Collins may have tried to steal the show with her usual antics but LGBT supporters claimed the biggest win of the night as the pairing of H and Matt wowed viewers with a preview of the upcoming series.
H, 43, later told fans on Instagram he had cried tears of joy after making “a little piece of history”.
“Never did I think this would happen,” he wrote as he thanked fans and ITV for their support in letting him be his “authentic self”.
And supporters also admitted to shedding more than the odd tear themselves.
“Ok seeing @Ianhwatkins and @TheMattEvers skating as a #samesex team on @dancingonice Christmas is absolutely amazing,” celebrated one fan on Twitter.
Can’t describe how emotional I am.
Another tweeted: “I’m so proud of @Ianhwatkins and @TheMattEvers, can’t describe how emotional I am seeing them together.”
Echoing that thought, another fan gushed: “Yeah currently crying over @Ianhwatkins & @TheMattEvers. This is history, this amazing. I’m so emotional and proud.”
And a fourth person sobbed: “Crying at #DancingOnIce #samesex.”
Unfortunately, not everyone was so happy to witness the breakthrough telly moment, leading to Matt shutting down one person who objected to the routine because it ‘wasn’t appropriate for family viewing’.
So you must shut off Wimbledon then as well when the doubles compete… or wait… what about a football or rugby match with all those men on the same field playing. Think about what you’ve just typed and what we are actually doing. Skating… nothing more than skating. https://t.co/kdSj1Qfyry
— Matt Evers (@TheMattEvers) December 22, 2019
Amid the other abuse smeared across social media, one dissenting voice wondered whether two men dancing together may have a practical complication.
Although it is unclear as to whether they are familiar with the relative weight and strength of both performers, they wondered: “I like the principle of Matt and together but at the same time I think it’s gonna take away from the DOI experience for him cos he won’t be able to show off lifts and tricks that he would with a female partner.”
And earlier this week Matt did reveal they have faced one particular problem while choreographing routines for the rink.
He admitted: “Parts of [H’s] anatomy get in the way in certain moves, on some of the lifts. We’re having to alter the lifts because it’s never been done before.”
New judge John Barrowman has also congratulated ITV for pushing for change on the box.
“First off, congratulations to Dancing on Ice and a huge round of applause to ITV for being the ones to take this step, as everyone is now trying to catch up,” he told RadioTimes.com.
“This is the first time ever that I, as an openly out and proud gay man, who’s a part of the LGBTQ+ community, can be part of a programme and watch this programme and see a couple that actually looks like and represents my husband and I.”
He continued: “I think it’s representative of our time in our society at the moment. Times are changing, we need to see everyone represented on the ice and I’m proud to be part of the show because of that and I’m glad we’ve done it, and that we’ve beaten other people to the post.”
– Dancing On Ice returns to ITV on Sunday 5th January
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