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Bruno Tonioli 'speechless' as almost 200 people complain about 'Strictly' same-sex dance

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Graziano de Prima (l) and Johannes Radebe attending the press night of Rip It Up, at the Garrick Theatre in central London.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli said he was “speechless” after almost 200 people complained about two men dancing with each other on the show.

Johannes Radebe and Graziano Di Prima made history when they performed the BBC programme’s first individual same-sex dance earlier this year.

However, according to the BBC, 189 people found their routine to Emeli Sande’s Shine to be "offensive".

Tonioli was among those to express their dismay at the news.

He wrote on Twitter: “It’s hard to believe after such progress in society and many other topics going on that over 200 people felt so upset they complained when 2 men danced with each other…

“I just don’t know what to say… Very sad. #bbcstrictly.”

He added in another post: “Just speechless...

“With everything else going on in the world this is what people find offensive...”

Strictly dancer Kevin Clifton tweeted: “What on earth were they complaining about? It was ace.”

The BBC said that Strictly is an inclusive show and was “proud to have been able to facilitate the dance between Johannes and Graziano during the professionals' dance”.

Read more: Johannes Radebe felt liberated after dance

"They are dancers first and foremost, and their sex had no bearing on their routine,” the corporation said.

Bruno Tonioli arrives on the red carpet during the On Your Feet Press Night at the London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane. (Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The dance at the beginning of November went down a storm with viewers, with many saying it reduced them to tears and praising the BBC for taking the step.

Read more: Michelle Visage says she wasn’t asked to do Strictly tour

Radebe told Hello! magazine the performance made him feel “so liberated”.

“For the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am,” he said.

Strictly has yet to feature a same-sex partnership between a professional and a celebrity but show bosses have said it’s something everyone would be open to in the future.