Strictly Come Dancing 2013: Rugby star Ben Cohen wanted Robin Windsor to be his partner instead of Kristina Rihanoff!

by Lynn Rowlands

ben cohen, robin windsor

Fans of gorgeous rugby star Ben Cohen will of course know that he’s currently competing in the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, and is being partnered and mentored by Kristina Rihanoff…

However, activist and anti-bullying campaigner Ben had apparently been hoping to make history by becoming the first celeb contestant on the show to be paired with a same-sex pro-dance partner, and he would reportedly have chosen to be paired up with Robin Windsor.

The Mirror reports, “The 16st ex-England rugby star had hoped to be paired with pro Robin Windsor…

“But instead got stunning blonde Kristina Rihanoff.”

Dad-of-two Ben told the paper, “I have no qualms dancing with a woman or a man…”

However, he conceded, “Kristina will be easier to pick up though.”

ben coher, kristina rihanoff

Ben – who runs the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, which he created to challenge homophobia and bullying – added, “I like to break down stereotypes.”

Meanwhile, Robin remarked of Ben, “He kept saying to me, ‘I hope they put me with you’, but it wasn’t to be.”

He added, “He’s amazing, the things he has done for the gay community. I adore him.”

Ben, who retired from professional rugby in 2011, has not only been campaigning tirelessly to rid sport of the often ubiquitous homophobia, but has also helped to make rugby “more accessible to the hard of hearing,” especially to young deaf players. Ben is himself clinically deaf, and has around 30% percent hearing loss in each ear.

ben cohen

He established his foundation some years after his father Peter died in 2000 after being fatally injured while trying to protect the victim of an attack at a nightclub in Northampton. The brave dad died a month later from the head injuries he sustained in the assault, and three men were subsequently found guilty of causing his death.

Here’s a look at the very lovely Ben talking about his foundation…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is a trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, Big Brother, BGT and I'm A Celeb.