‘Great dancer’ Phillip Schofield tipped for Strictly Come Dancing's first same sex couple, says AJ Pritchard

PHILLIP Schofield is tipped to be in Strictly Come Dancing's first same sex couple – with AJ Pritchard giving the This Morning presenter his seal of approval.

The 25-year-old star quit the BBC One dance show last year, and told The Sun Online that he'd "love" to see Phil on the show with a male professional partner.

Phil, 58, came out as gay earlier this year, and fans have long-called for Strictly to incorporate same-sex pairings in their line-up.

AJ told us: "I think Philip Schofield would be great on Strictly.

"He got up on This Morning once with Holly and did a bit of a boogie and he can dance, and he is entertaining, and he is such a nice guy.

"To see him learn and put him under a bit of pressure would always be funny, I’m sure.

"It would be great if he was part of the first same sex couple on Strictly – I would love to see that."

However, the dancer went on to admit that some of his former co-stars would be reluctant to pair up with a member of the same sex.

He explained: "I know certain pro dancers would like to dance with a woman because that is what tradition is, and it kind of makes sense but it is very much down to someone’s personal opinion of what Ballroom and Latin dancing actually is.

"My view is, for example with Ballroom and Latin, they do same sex competitions for under 12s and there are usually more girls than boys who want to dance and so there would be all-girl partnerships.

"For me dancing isn’t about the sex, it’s just about two people dancing and performing together and telling the story – it doesn’t matter if it's two men or two women.

"It is just about dancing and telling the story – why would sex get in the way of that?"

The Sun Online revealed in May that Strictly are planning to feature the show's first same-sex couple in history – with Johannes Radebe the front-runner to be paired with a male celebrity.

BBC bosses made the decision after ITV show Dancing On Ice paired Olympic skater Matt Evers with pop star Ian ‘H’ Watkins earlier this year.

And earlier this month, it was reported that Phil had been having top secret talks with producers as they hoped to secure him in a big money deal.

Since quitting the show, AJ has decided to study social media marketing, with he and his Love Island brother Curtis teaming up with social learning platform FutureLearn.

Sharing what he'd been up to in lockdown, the star told us: "We have been given so many different opportunities to learn in so many different ways.

"With FutureLearn there are so many free courses and we like learning all the time.

"For me, it’s all about keeping an open mind; if you are always learning then you are always improving."

He added: "I chose to create a social media marketing campaign as social media is a part of everything.

"It’s about getting the point across and how to really connect with your audience.

"There are millions of people on there, and you may not be able to interact with people at the pub but you can still interact with people online and with courses like this, it helped me with my time and doing something – I am very bad at sitting still!"

Meanwhile, Curtis is using FutureLearn to do a screenwriting course, with the star praising the course for being easy to learn in spite of his dyslexia.

Addressing how their combined skills will help their future ventures, AJ said: "It’s so good because we have come up with our own company, AP Productions, and we have got the live element to the theatre like AJ Live, and we have got some other exciting live performances next year and Curtis' course really helps with that.

"We have also got the TV and production side, so creating our own formats and learning different skills from FutureLean and things that help us develop TV ideas to fruition really is so exciting for us.

"Obviously coronavirus has put some things back a little bit, but we haven’t seen this as a negative – we have seen this as a positive to help hone our skills."

Social learning platform, FutureLearn, partners with AJ and Curtis Pritchard to inspire the nation to expand their knowledge.

Find out more at  https://www.futurelearn.com

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