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Strictly’s Johannes Radebe says he felt like he’d been ‘slapped in the face’ when stopped by police during show tour

Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe has said he felt like he had been “slapped in the face” when he was stopped by police during the show’s UK tour for “looking suspicious”.

The professional dancer, 36, wrote in his new memoir Jojo: Finally Home about being approached by officers outside a venue.

In the book, Radebe recalled: “A police van pulled up into the parking lot where I was sitting. When they came over I showed my ID.

“‘Is there something wrong?’ I asked one of them. ‘No, you look suspicious and like someone we are looking for.’”

He added: “Maybe they were doing their job but the fact I’d just been on stage with thousands of people shouting my name and now I was being approached by police who thought I could be a criminal felt like a slap in the face.”

Last month, former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite revealed that he fell in love with Radebe while partnered with him on Strictly.

The pair competed together in the BBC competition in 2021, in what was the show’s first ever male same-sex pairing.

Throughout their time on the series, the duo won over fans with their off-screen camaraderie and on-screen chemistry, which Whaite said led to him “falling in love” with the dancer despite being engaged to his partner of 15 years, Paul Atkins.

“I fell in love with him,” Whaite told The Times in an interview, adding: “I can’t speak for him – because I’m not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there.”

Radebe and Whaite (BBC)
Radebe and Whaite (BBC)

A few weeks after Whaite’s public revelation, Radebe responded, emphasising the platonic nature of their relationship and saying he is “friends for life” with Whaite, who is still in a relationship with Atkins.

Whaite, who won GBBO in 2012, has also released a new memoir, titled Dancing on Eggshells.

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing is scheduled to begin later this month. Read about this year’s lineup of contestants here.