Ex- Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner fears show's decision to use same-sex couples might just be a 'tokenism' as he makes a dig at ITV

It was reported earlier this year that Ian 'H' Watkins will be partnered with Matt Evers, making them the show's first ever same-sex dance couple. 

And former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has shared his fears over the new format as he made a dig at ITV during an appearance on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday. 

The Australian choreographer, 47, had campaigned for same-sex couples for years but the decision was made after he was replaced by John Barrowman on the judging panel.

Speaking out: Former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has shared his fears over the new format as he made a dig at ITV during an appearance on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday

Speaking out: Former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has shared his fears over the new format as he made a dig at ITV during an appearance on the Jeremy Vine show on Thursday

Talking to host Jeremy, Jason said: 'All I hope is that it isn’t tokenism. That they don’t make it camp and flamboyant and it’s a proper partnership because it has to also have that romance.

'I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.'

To which Jason was asked if he feared it won't be, with the sassy former judge claiming: 'Well, it is ITV. Sorry ITV, but you know, it’s true.' 

The star was also asked whether Strictly had left it a year too late to have same-sex couples on the hit BBC One dance show, to which Jason said: 'Yes, I agree.'

Same-sex couples: The Australian choreographer, 47, had campaigned for same-sex couples for years but the decision was made after he was replaced by John Barrowman on the judging panel

Same-sex couples: The Australian choreographer, 47, had campaigned for same-sex couples for years but the decision was made after he was replaced by John Barrowman on the judging panel

'Tokenism': Talking to host Jeremy, Jason said: 'All I hope is that it isn’t tokenism. That they don’t make it camp and flamboyant and it’s a proper partnership because it has to also have that romance.'

'Tokenism': Talking to host Jeremy, Jason said: 'All I hope is that it isn’t tokenism. That they don’t make it camp and flamboyant and it’s a proper partnership because it has to also have that romance.'

In August, Jason took to social media to confirm he would not be returning for the new series of Dancing On Ice, amid claims he decided to step down following his dispute with contestant Gemma Collins.

With Torchwood and I'm A Celebrity star John Barrowman confirmed as his replacement a week later in August. 

While earlier this month it was reported that Ian 'H' Watkins will be partnered with Matt Evers, making them the show's first ever same-sex dance couple.   

The former Steps star, 43, who is openly gay, is set to make history on the ITV ice dancing competition when it airs next year, and he’s been partnered with a male professional after reportedly making the request himself.

He added: 'I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.'

He added: 'I hope it is handled correctly and with dignity. I hope it’s not made light of.'

Throwing shade: To which Jason was asked if he feared it won't be, with the sassy former judge claiming: 'Well, it is ITV. Sorry ITV, but you know, it’s true.'

Throwing shade: To which Jason was asked if he feared it won't be, with the sassy former judge claiming: 'Well, it is ITV. Sorry ITV, but you know, it’s true.'

Replacement: In August, Jason took to social media to confirm he would not be returning for the new series of Dancing On Ice with John Barrowman (pictured) replacing him

Replacement: In August, Jason took to social media to confirm he would not be returning for the new series of Dancing On Ice with John Barrowman (pictured) replacing him 

A source said: 'After conversations with the Dancing on Ice production team, H enquired as to the possibility of being paired with a male professional skater.

'Dancing on Ice were fully supportive of a same-sex partnership and as such this year H will be paired with Matt Evers.'

The insider added to The Sun: 'It’s a huge moment in TV history. A lot of viewers will be watching and the hope is it might set a trend.'

H is set to be partnered with American Matt, also 43, who has been skating on the show since it began in 2006 and came out as gay in 2018.

When contacted by MailOnline for comment, a representative for Dancing On Ice said: 'We won't be commenting on speculation around the Dancing on Ice pairings until closer to the new series in 2020.'

Show history: While earlier this month it was reported that Ian 'H' Watkins will be partnered with Matt Evers, making them the show's first ever same-sex dance couple

Show history: While earlier this month it was reported that Ian 'H' Watkins will be partnered with Matt Evers, making them the show's first ever same-sex dance couple

Dancing partner: The former Steps star, 43, who is openly gay, is set to make history on the ITV ice dancing competition when it airs next year, and he’s been partnered with a male professional after reportedly making the request himself (Matt Evers pictured)

Dancing partner: The former Steps star, 43, who is openly gay, is set to make history on the ITV ice dancing competition when it airs next year, and he’s been partnered with a male professional after reportedly making the request himself (Matt Evers pictured) 

JASON'S STATEMENT IN FULL 

'I know there has been a lot of speculation about me and the upcoming series of dancing on ice. I wanted to set the record straight, I've been an original judge since 2006.

'I've done every series except one, when I was replaced by my good friend and dance sister Louis Spence in 2012.

'The show had been off air for four years and when it was revived I was the only original judge to return and the past two series have been new additions to the panel including the fantastic Ashley Banjo and the legends Torvill and Dean.

Time to say goodbye: Jason has appearance in all but one series of Dancing On Ice

Time to say goodbye: Jason has appearance in all but one series of Dancing On Ice

'I have absolutely loved sharing the panel with them.

'After all these years I feel it's time for me to say goodbye to my judging role and return to things I have been putting on hold and have been on the back burner for a while.

'It's because of you I never cowered or shied away from serving up the truth.

'Holly, Phil, Jane and Chris we created something we can be really proud of after the ice has finally thawed. We've had a lot of laughs, trials and tribulations and I have loved working with all of you.

'To the unsung heroes, the pros and coaches, including Karen Barber, without your hard work we would never have had the success we've had, I salute and applaud you.

'I am terrified and excited to announce I will be debuting my one man show at the Crazy Coqs at Zedel in January and February next year.

'So if you want to find out a little bit more about me, because I'm like an onion, I have many layers and if you cut me I'll make you cry.

'Then book tickets, because I promise it will be an evening you won't forget.'

Jason Gardiner fears Dancing On Ice same-sex couples might just be a 'tokenism'

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.