In the past, the television host had questioned the inclusion of same-sex couples on BBC One’s hit reality competition. He claimed that it might confuse the show’s judging panel and “muddy the waters” when it came to scoring performances.
His comments recently resurfaced following the news that Olympic boxer Nicola Adams will be the first celebrity to dance in a same-sex couple in the forthcoming series.
The presenter has since apologised for his comments. In a post shared to Twitter, he wrote: “Oh God. This is entirely my own fault. Ages ago gave a throwaway comment to a journalist who wanted me to slag off Strictly. Clever clogs remembered and now look!!”
The 57-year-old added: “So sorry. Big up Nicola Adams and her partner!!”
Norton also addressed the people who have voiced their support of his previous remarks.
Oh God. This is entirely my own fault. Ages ago gave a throwaway comment to a journalist who wanted me to slag off Strictly. Clever clogs remembered and now look!! So sorry. Big up @NicolaAdamsOBE and her partner!! https://t.co/9w03314FEU— graham norton (@grahnort) September 30, 2020
He said: “And to people messaging me to say they agree – please stop. Everyone dancing on that show brings pure joy. Let’s all enjoy a beautiful thing.”
In addition to his concerns over the judging of same-sex couples, Norton had told Best magazine: “As you have people who can be openly gay on that show, I don’t particularly need to see a man dancing with a man.”
Strictly is expected to return in October and will run for a slightly shorter nine-week season this year due to the pandemic.
The judging panel will also be reduced, with Bruno Tonioli unable to take up his regular spot due to travel restrictions.