Ian 'H' Watkins suggested to 'Dancing on Ice' bosses that he should be in a same-sex pairing.

Ian 'H' Watkins and Matt Evers

Ian 'H' Watkins and Matt Evers

The Steps singer and Matt Evers will make TV history when they pair up on the ITV ice skating show in the programme's first-ever all-male coupling in the new year, and the 43-year-old star has admitted it was his initial idea.

He said: "I had the meeting in the summer and I said, 'If this does go ahead then I would like to be considered with a male partner.'

"For me, it's important to have someone the right gender for my sexuality."

Matt added: "To be part of a production and part of a network like ITV and what they are championing right now, I am so proud.

"It feels really good and we feel so supported and so loved right now."

H admitted he and Matt have "chemistry" when they are dancing together, and the pro skater said the singer will be his first-ever 'Dancing on Ice' partner who he could "possibly" have a showmance with.

The 'Last Thing on My Mind' hitmaker said: "There's chemistry, but let's just see if that ... why am I even answering this?

"He's so hot, and he's handsome. I'm in such good hands."

Matt added: "This is the first partnership that I've had in my career on 'Dancing on Ice' that could possibly be a showmance."

Several other 'Dancing on Ice' stars have praised the decision to include a same-sex pairing on the new series, including Perri Kiely, who admitted it is "about time", and Caprice, who said it is "super-exciting that 'Dancing on Ice' has done it first".

Joe Swash added: "Hopefully it opens the door to other shows to realise we don't have to stay in our little mould."

What's more, a number of the stars are already tipping Perri to win the show next year.

Maura Higgins said: "Perri is just sick, he looks like a professional."

Trisha Goddard added: "He can do with his legs what we can only dream of."

H commented: "For me, Perri has won this already. He's doing back flips on the ice."

John Barrowman will make his debut as a 'Dancing on Ice' judge on the new series, after replacing Jason Gardiner in the hot seat, and he says he will be "harsh and critical" but will not be "demeaning" to the contestants.

Speaking to 'Lorraine' at the 'Dancing on Ice' launch, he said: "I can be harsh, but I can be harsh and critical in a way that is not demeaning to a person."