Ian 'H' Watkins has shared the heartbreaking message he got from Strictly Come Dancing bosses following his Dancing On Ice debut.
The former Steps star, 43, made TV history when he and Matt Evers partnered up to be the first same-sex dancing couple on the popular ITV show.
The pair are the trailblazers in being the first same-sex pairing to compete on UK television, in a move that has seen Dancing on Ice beat its closest BBC rival Strictly .
The pairing provided an opportunity to change perceptions of the gay community once and for all, but according to the singer, not everyone was supportive of the brave move.
Speaking to The Sun , Ian admitted that he had previously asked senior BBC bosses for a male dancing partner while starring on Tumble in 2014, but they refused his plea.
"I asked for a same-sex partner and they said, ‘No, the BBC doesn’t do that — it’s not us" he recalled.
However, after his ground-breaking debut performance, the 43-year-old revealed that he received a cryptic message from a senior staff member at BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing which insinuated that a same-sex couple pairing would have happened evntutally.
"The message simply read: "You should have waited for us".
Although his request was turned down back in 2014, 'H' knew that if he was going to take part in Dancing On Ice, he wouldn't take no for an answer this time.
He told The Sun : "If they had said no, I would have pulled out because it means so much to me."
"I know who I am. I’m a dad, so my kids will be watching it, so I want them to see me as my authentic self."
The 'Tragedy' hit-maker has appeared on a number of reality TV shows, but insisted that his Dancing On Ice stint was more of a social cause than a personal one, in that he was determined to break the stigmas which still surround the gay commuity.
During his debut dance with partner Matt, over 4.5 million viewers tuned in, and out of those, only 16 people complained to Ofcom regarding the same-sex couple.
Despite the response from the public being overwhelmingly positive, Ian revealed that it still hurt to hear there were still 16 complaints in the year 2020.
"They still hurt. But Matt said, ‘I’d like to invite those 16 people to come and have a little chat with me and we’ll explain to you what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And why it shouldn't’t affect you."
"Everybody’s entitled to their opinion but don’t teach your children that opinion. Train them to be well-rounded human beings."
Opening up about the journey it took to get to this point, Ian admitted that it was an emotional one and when he got the 'green light' to have a male dancing partner, he cried with happines.
"When I first suggested this back in the summer, there were conversations that were had, we went back and forth, then I got the green light, and I cried. It’s been quite an emotional journey."
"It shows how far we’ve come as people, and do you know what, let’s change the world. If we’re the ones to make a noise about it, let’s do it."
"So next time, it won’t be an issue."
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