Dancing On Ice is reportedly preparing to make reality TV history with the first same-sex dance couple.
Steps singer Ian “H” Watkins and professional skater Matt Evers, both 43, will perform together in the ITV celebrity dance competition when the series returns in January next year.
A source told MailOnline: “After conversations with the Dancing On Ice production team, H enquired as to the possibility of being paired with a male professional skater.
“Dancing On Ice were fully supportive of a same-sex partnership and as such this year H will be paired with Matt Evers.”
A representative for the TV show said: “We won't be commenting on speculation around the Dancing On Ice pairings until closer to the new series in 2020.”
Welsh singer and actor H came out as gay in 2007 in an interview with The Sun newspaper, confirming he was in a relationship with a man. He and ex-partner Craig Ryder have twin sons, who were born via a surrogate in 2016.
Evers, an American pro skater who has been part of the show since it began in 2006, came out as gay in 2018.
Rival BBC show Strictly Come Dancing has been under rising pressure to feature a same-sex couple over the last few years.
A BBC spokesman said this year it was “proud” to have featured same-sex dancing among the professionals in group performances.
He added: “We are completely open to the prospect of same-sex pairings between celebrities and pro dancers in the future, should the opportunity arise.”
If confirmed, this will be the latest in a series of shake-ups for Dancing On Ice. It was recently confirmed long-time judge Jason Gardiner won't be returning, and will be replaced by John Barrowman. The Torchwood star will join Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean and Ashley Banjo on the judging panel.
This year’s celebrity contestants include former game show host Michael Barrymore, chat show queen Trisha Goddard, 61, and Love Island's Maura Higgins.
Other names include TV presenter Joe Swash, magician Ben Hanlin, former footballer Kevin Kilbane and ITV newsreader Lucrezia Millarini. Coronation Street's Lisa George, Paralympic sprinter Libby Clegg and Diversity dancer Perri Kiely will also compete on the ice.