Is Paralympic sport Adi Adeptane about to make him Strictly’s first wheelchair star?
Chiefs are strictly lining up a Paralympic basketball player to be the first wheelchair user to appear on the show.
They want TV presenter Ade Adepitan to star in the dance show after he decides that an athlete will help the producers navigate the complexities of their most ambitious attempt to make the show inclusive.
BBC sources also say that the strict bosses think it would be better to have a famous man in a wheelchair than a woman because it would provide more opportunities for the professional dancer to be lifted into the air and sit around the wheelchair.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘A lot of work has gone into this project as it has gone Strictly where no other show has gone before. It’s not easy to format but there are things that will make it easier.
Having someone who is used to being smarter in their wheelchair will make things less of a challenge. Having a man instead of a woman will make it more attainable with things like elevators. This does not mean that moving forward cannot change. Strictly determined to make this work. They want their program to be open to everyone.
They want TV presenter Ade Adepitan (pictured) to star in the dance show after he decides that an athlete will help the producers navigate the complexities of their most ambitious attempt to make the show inclusive.
Adepitan, who contracted polio as a baby, has been playing basketball since he was twelve years old.
He was a member of the Great Britain team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.
The Nigerian-born star has guest-hosted The One Show. He also hosted the BBC2 series New York: America’s Busiest City in 2016, and co-presented the BBC’s Children In Need appeal for seven years.
The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that Strictly would feature a celebrity in a wheelchair for the first time.
The show bosses had planned to do this last year but ran out of time to train a professional dancer to partner with the contestant.
The move follows the popularity of the show’s first deaf participant, actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, who won the title last year, and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, who reached the sixth week last year.
It was reported earlier this year that Strictly Bosses were hoping to sign Loose Women star Sophie Morgan as the show’s first wheelchair contestant.
It was understandable that they thought Ms. Morgan, who had worked in television for nearly 20 years, would have been “perfect”.