Strictly Come Dancing bosses have reportedly set their sights on Loose Women’s Sophie Morgan to make history as the show’s first ever wheelchair-using contestant.
The TV presenter was left paralyzed aged 18 after suffering a T6 spinal cord injury in 2003 when she was involved in a car accident.
According to reports, the author would be ‘ideal’ to take to the ballroom floor for the next series of Strictly, which was previously won by Hamza Yassin and partner Jowita Pryzstal.
A source said: ‘She already has a huge fan base from Loose Women and is a huge advocate of using her platform to promote inclusivity.
‘It’s still very early stages and the crew will officially start on pre-production in the coming months.’
The insider added to The Sun that Sophie is ‘very glamorous’ and would look incredible in the sequins and glitter.
This comes after Rose Ayling-Ellis made history as the show’s first ever deaf contestant, winning the 2021 series with Giovanni Pernice, while paralympian Ellie Simmonds scored great success during her stint on the show last season with Nikita Kuzmin.
A source had revealed earlier this year that Strictly bosses were keen to sign-up a celebrity wheelchair user, saying: ‘This is an extremely challenging project but one that Strictly bosses think is worth it and believe it is going to be absolutely brilliant.
‘It is yet another example of how progressive and inclusive the programme is. As well as creating some wonderful television moments, it will also give an amazing opportunity to someone in a wheelchair.’
They continued to MailOnline: ‘The original plan was that it would happen last year but the logistics are very difficult and to get a professional dancer trained and ready to take this on meant more work than was originally anticipated, so the most sensible thing to do was to put it off for a year.
‘There is so much excitement about this at the BBC right now.’
However, amid the positive news, some trolls cast a dark cloud with wheelchair using ballerina Kate Stanforth hitting back at abusive comments, saying she’s been ‘close to tears’.
Kate captioned the image: ‘It’s been announced that @bbcstrictly are going to have a wheelchair user this year.
‘I’ve just sat, honestly close to tears, as I’ve scrolled through the ableist comments about how wheelchair users are not welcome on the programme but also in general society.’
She continued: ‘Just a note from me, if you’re in a wheelchair, you can f’kin dance. You’re just as worthy as anyone else to do whatever you want to do and I’m honestly so sorry society makes us feel bad this little sometimes.’
Kate went on to talk about how her dance academy will be doing ‘Strictly inspired classes for anyone who wants to dance throughout Strictly season,’ and later shared an incredible video showing one of her non-disabled dancers attending a class with a disabled teacher.
‘It proves so much in one short video,’ she wrote.
BBC declined to comment when approached by Metro.co.uk.
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One later this year.
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