STRICTLY Come Dancing will have TWO same sex couples this year.
Back in June Richie stated that he wanted to dance with a man on the BBC One competition.
In a statement, Richie said: “This is a dream come true! I cannot wait to get in those sparkles and sequins and shimmy across the most famous dance floor in the world!
"Strictly is the ultimate feel good show, as soon as I hear that iconic theme tune it’s just pure escapism.
"I’m going to have to cancel my legendary Strictly launch night kitchen party that I throw every year, I’m sure my friends and family will understand.
"It’s also a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show.”
Giovanni, who’s been on Strictly since 2015, recently said he was "more than ready to be partnered with a man".
Giovanni, 31, who at 5ft 10in stands two inches taller than Richie, has said: “If the production people come to me and say ‘listen Giovanni we’d love you to be partnered with a man’, I’d say ‘yes’.
Most read in Reality
“I am more than ready to be partnered with a man.
“It would give me a chance to challenge myself with new routines, you have to think more about it.
"I love challenging myself.
A source said: “Giovanni is really keen for the challenge and wants to show fans he can dance just as well with a man as with a woman.
“He is extremely competitive and already has lots of ideas for the choreography.”
Meanwhile, comedian Jayde will be the second female pairing with Venezuelan dancer Karen.
During a chat with Scott Mills and Chris Stark she said: "Since I watched the first series in 2004, I feel like every step I’ve taken in my career over the last 11 years was to be on Strictly.
"I cannot begin to express the emotions I am feeling, this means so much to me and my family."
Strictly made history with the first ever same-sex dance between Johannes Radebe, 34, and Graziano Di Prima, 26, during the 2019 series.
It was followed by BBC show's first female pairing Katya Jones and Nicola Adams in 2020 which went down a storm, but they were forced to drop out after Katya tested positive for Covid-19.
Last year, Johannes Radebe and Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite made it all the way to the final, but it was Giovanni and Rose who lifted the Glitterball Trophy in the end.
Strictly Come Dancing continues next weekend, with the first live show on Saturday 24th September on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.