OLYMPIC diver, author, ukulele extraordinaire and singer Matthew Mitcham has been revealed as one of the celebrities to try out their dancing shoes on Channel 7’s next season of Dancing with the Stars.
Earlier this week Mitcham took to social media to announce he would be taking up a spot on the show.
“I have been thinking about it for about five years — that’s how much I wanted to be on the show — but things like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics have got in the way.”
Mitcham will be paired with dance instructor Masha Belash.
“She’s an amazing teacher. Everyone keeps saying she is going to bust my balls, but so far she is just very eager and pushing me to do better,” he said.
His pairing with a female dance partner raised questions as to why Dancing with the Stars producers and Channel Seven did not match Mitcham, who is openly gay, with a man.
Mitcham said that the topic was not brought up with him.
“It never really came up, and I’m not disappointed it didn’t happen,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s something that would favour me either way.”
Mitcham’s inclusion along with previous appearances by gay celebrities Ian Roberts and Tim Campbell – who both danced with female partners – provoked calls for same-sex pairings to be allowed on the show.
Speaking to the Star Observer, a Channel 7 spokesperson said: “There are no restrictions on pairing for Dancing with the Stars and same sex couples have already appeared on the show in Israel and Austria.”