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Nicola, 37, was unveiled as one of the famous faces taking part in this year’s edition of Strictly Come Dancing only last month. Since then, the rumour mill has been going into overdrive as to which female professional she is going to be partnered with. With the same-sex coupling being such a historical move for the BBC dance contest, Katya Jones, 31, has previously voiced her interest in being part of the partnership. It seems she may have been heard as recent media reports are suggesting the pair have been rehearsing together ahead of the launch later this month.
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The launch is an important part of how the rest of the season will play out, with the celebrities being partnered with a professional dancer.
Fans around the country have to wait for this programme – which usually airs a week or two before the live show – to find out who the couples are.
As of yet, viewers are still eagerly waiting to discover who has been matched with who, but images obtained by Daily Mail Online show Nicola and Katya seemingly leaving rehearsals together.
It is believed this was the pair’s first meet-up ahead of the rigorous training schedule they will face over the next few months.
Express.co.uk has contacted a representative of the show, who declined to comment on whether the two women will be the show’s first same-sex couple.
It is usually routine for all the professionals and celebrities to meet one another before the launch show to get a taste of one another’s ability.
However, due to the current guidelines in force to combat the spread of coronavirus, bosses might have matched the famous faces to their professionals without such a test.
Executive Producer Sarah James explained proceedings would be a little different this year, with the contestants finding out who they are going to be dancing with via video during the pre-recorded episode.
Speaking to press, including Express.co.uk, the show boss said: “It’s obviously a bit more difficult with distancing.
“But we’ve got some incredible locations for those VT’s so I’m really excited about how they will work,” she added.
If Nicola and Katya are the first same-sex couple to take part in the competition, the differences to the launch show could explain why they have been matched so early.
These pictures and speculation come just a month after a source said the ballroom champion was looking forward to making history on the show.
The TV insider said: “Katya has been telling everyone on the show how keen she is to be paired with Nicola.
“She’s a huge believer in girl power and thinks they’d make a great team and be a hit with the viewers at home,” they told The Sun.
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Only want somebody on the short side
Katya has herself spoken out on the prospect before, telling Express.co.uk she “wouldn’t mind” being partnered with a female celebrity.
“It’s been done before on Strictly in group numbers,” she explained, before stating it would “open doors” to showcase more creativity.
Following the news she was going to be taking part, Olympic boxer Nicola also described the type of person she would like to be coupled with.
“I’d only be wanting somebody who’s maybe a little bit on the short side because I’m a little bit small.”
Nicola also told BBC Breakfast: “It’s definitely time to move on and be more diverse, and this is a brilliant step in the right direction.
“It will be nice for the LGBT community to be able to see there are same-sex couples on the show as well.”
According to the latest odds from Coral bookmakers, the professional boxer is in the running to win the series.
At 8/1, the Olympic medal-winning star is in fifth place to become champion, with soap star Maisie Smith, 19, leading the way to victory at 2/1.
Strictly Come Dancing 2020 begins on October 17 on BBC One.
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