John Whaite: Gays getting embroiled in Strictly scandal is sign of progress

The star recently said he 'fell in love' with his pro partner Johannes Radebe when they were on the show

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: John Whaite backstage at Utilita Arena Birmingham on January 20, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
John Whaite was on Strictly in 2021. (Getty Images)

John Whaite has said the fact that gays are getting embroiled in Strictly scandal is "a sign of progress".

The Bake Off winner was on the BBC ballroom contest in 2021 and recently shared that he “fell in love” with his pro partner Johannes Radebe, who he made history with as the show’s first ever all-male partnership

Whaite – who was in a relationship with his long-term partner Paul Atkins at the time – was quoted as telling The Times: “I fell in love with him.

Read more: Strictly's Johannes Radebe details homophobic abuse at school

“I can’t speak for him – because I’m not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there.”

Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 18/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing - Launch Show (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  John Whaite, Johannes Radebe - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe on the show. (BBC)

The TV star, who is still with his fiance Atkins, addressed the story during an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine, joking: “What I have to say is how blooming great it is that the gays are finally getting embroiled in Strictly scandal!”

Whaite, who also opens up in his book Dancing On Eggshells, went on: “Before, we were on the sidelines, and now the gays are getting involved in the Strictly curse.

“It’s a sign of progress isn’t it?”

He told stand-in host Christine Lampard: “The reason I have spoken about that story and specifically with Johannes’ consent and with my partner’s consent, I haven’t written anything that people don’t want me to write, the reason I’ve spoken about that story is to illustrate the point that life is difficult.

“We are fragile human beings and our hearts sometimes can be torn into two.

Read more: Strictly partners John Whaite and Johannes Radebe go on Celebrity Gogglebox

“And sometimes you have to take a stop and just think to yourself, ‘Who am I? What are my values and how do I get back to that?’”

Watch: Strictly's John and Johannes reveal training fall out