Strictly’s Richie fears all-male pairing will be a ‘challenge’ for Giovanni

Well, Giovanni reportedly said he was more than ready (Picture: BBC / PA / SWNS)

Strictly Come Dancing’s Richie Anderson hopes partner Giovanni Pernice won’t be out of his depth as they prepare for the live shows.

During Friday’s star-studded launch fans saw the official pairings of this year’s milestone series.

After it was speculated that Giovanni, 31, was the hot favourite to be in an all-male pairing this year, it was finally confirmed that the Latin pro was partnered to Radio 2 presenter Richie.

Last year was a triumphant season for Giovanni as he lifted the Glitterball Trophy with EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, and Richie hopes that they’ll be able to recreate the same magic for this time round.

Gushing about his dance partner to Metro.co.uk and other press, he said: ‘I think he is such a fantastic teacher, look what he did with Rose last year!

‘I’m just looking forward to dancing with him. I’m a complete blank canvas so let’s see what he can do with me.’

Richie is ready for the challenge (Picture: PA)
Rose and Giovanni wowed the nation with their inspiring Couple’s Choice (Picture: PA)

Joking about his current dancing ability, he joked: ‘Feel like it’s going to be like throwing a sack of potatoes around. This might be his biggest challenge yet.’

Richie recently revealed that it was his long-term partner Dean Eagles who encouraged him to be in an all-male duo, after he was given the option to choose.

‘When I spoke to my other half Dean, it was our 10-year anniversary, and he was like “you have to,” and it’s the 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK,’ he said.

‘It would be such a proud moment to be dancing with a male pro.’

Richie is best known for his regular appearances on BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show (Picture: @richieanderson/Instagram)

Addressing what representation means to him, Richie said: ‘I was so inspired by watching John and Johannes last year, and Nicola and Katya the year before, I wish as a teenage gay guy, I would have seen that representation on television when I was growing up.

‘Seeing Nicola [Adams] and John do it gave me so much confidence to go out there and do this.’

This year, Strictly will mark the 100th anniversary of the BBC with a special themed week, as well as viewers’ favourite weeks including Movie Week, Halloween Week and the much-loved Musicals Week.

The cast will also finally have a chance to perform at the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom, having been unable to for the past two years due to the pandemic.

Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday September 24 at 6.45pm on BBC One.

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