John Whaite and Johannes Radebe have sparked speculation they are Strictly Come Dancing’s first all-male partnership as they left rehearsals on Thursday.
According to onlookers, John was seen leaving the studio after a full days training at 7pm – before Johannes was spotted exiting just minutes later.
The Great British Bake Off winner, 32, showcased his toned torso in a form-fitting grey T-shirt and a pair of tiny black shorts while making his way to the studio.
Coupled up! John Whaite and Johannes Radebe have sparked speculation they are Strictly Come Dancing’s first all-male partnership as they left rehearsals on Thursday
Beaming John appeared delighted with his new job, as he arrived carrying a small suitcase and toting an exercise mat on his shoulder.
The session was John’s first rehearsal ahead of the Strictly launch show on Saturday night, where this year’s partnerships will be officially revealed.
Johannes, 34, emerged wearing a chic grey jumper, covered up in a face mask and a bucket hat before jumping into a car which pulled up right to the door.
Heading home: According to onlookers, John was seen leaving the studio after a full days training at 7pm – before Johannes was spotted exiting just minutes later
Dance ready! The Great British Bake Off winner, 32, showcased his toned torso in a form-fitting grey T-shirt and a pair of tiny black shorts while making his way to the studio
Show bosses have confirmed that John will be one half of their first all-male partnership, but his professional dance partner will not be revealed yet.
The studio outing is the biggest clue yet that John and Johnannes will be wowing viewers and judges alike during this year’s competition.
The 2019 series of Strictly saw Johannes send fans wild when he performed a same sex professional dance with Graziano Di Prima.
Nicola Adams and Katya Jones were Strictly’s first all-female partnership last year.
Happy days! Beaming John appeared delighted with his new job, as he arrived carrying a small suitcase and toting an exercise mat on his shoulder
Low-key: Johannes, 34, emerged wearing a chic grey jumper, covered up in a face mask and a bucket hat before jumping into a car which pulled up right to the door
Before finding out who he would be coupled with, John speculated over who his dancer parter would be during an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch.
John said: ‘There are four lads who I think are tall enough for me to dance with.
‘There’s Graziano [Di Prima], Kai [Widdrington], Johannes [Radebe] and Aljaž [Škorjanec].
‘They’re the four who I think are tall enough for me, but they might give me a shorter dancer and put him in heels. I’m really hoping I get to do a dance in heels.’
Delighted: Show bosses have confirmed that John will be one half of their first all-male partnership, but his professional dance partner will not be revealed yet
Perfect match: The studio outing is the biggest clue yet that John and Johnannes will be wowing viewers and judges alike during this year’s competition
John identifies as gay and he described what it means to him to be part of the first all-male pairing in Strictly history.
He said to host Steph: ‘It’s a massive honour… If I’d have seen two lads or lasses dancing together on Saturday night TV and nobody made a fuss about it, I don’t think I’d have grown up with quite so much shame for being gay.
‘I just hope there are kids out there watching who don’t even question it, who watch it and think, ‘I am who I am and I’m comfortable with that, and I’m accepted and loved and can be loved for who I am.’ It’s a massive privilege.’
Wow: Before finding out who he would be coupled with, John speculated over who his dancer parter would be during an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch.
Who is it? John appeared to go incognito as he sported a cap, glasses and face mask
John – who is resident chef on Steph’s Packed Lunch – revealed he was in the supermarket when he got the call to confirm he would star on the 2021 series.
He recalled: ‘I got the call when I was in a supermarket on the frozen food aisle, I had to whisper to [my fiancé] Paul.
”Oh my God’… We got in the car and drove home in silence, we didn’t know how to process it.’
He added: ‘I feel sick, I’m sweating just thinking about it… Knowing my luck, I’ll fall down the stairs like Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her, rip my knickers, let out a little trump, there’ll be sequins all over the place!’
Thumbs up! He appeared in high spirits while arriving at the studio
The baking aficionado is currently engaged to graphics designer Paul Atkins.
He joked that he has already begun getting in the Strictly mood with his fiancé as he added: ‘I did do a samba for Paul in my thong. It was during the heatwave… He said, ‘You need to watch this YouTube tutorial and learn how to do the Samba,’ so I did it and he filmed it.
‘I looked pretty good actually! But apart from that I’ve not done anything.’
Johannes will no doubt be elated over the news that he is coupled with John, after previously sharing his hopes to be involved in the first all-male partnership.
Partners? Strictly Come Dancing contestant Greg Wise arrived at a London studio to rehearse for Saturday’s launch show at the same time as pro dancer Karen Hauer on Thursday
He told Attitude magazine: ‘Darling, I would be the first person jumping up and down with joy. Representation is really important.
‘When, or if, the BBC do, it will be fantastic. I would be all up for it. It might even make a rumba worth watching. [Laughs]. Those are the kinds of things that need to be considered, the tradition of dancing, but it is 2018 and it would be revolutionary.’
Elswhere, England rugby union star Ugo Monye has sparked speculation he is partnered with Strictly pro Oti Mabuse.
The star, 38, was spotted arriving for rehearsals at a London studio a mere two minutes before the South African dancer, 31, on Thursday.
It comes five days after Ugo split from his wife of five years Lucy, 32. The pair share two daughters Phoenix, four, and Ruby, one.
Partners? England rugby union star Ugo Monye, 38, has sparked speculation he is partnered with Strictly pro Oti Mabuse, 31
Two minutes: Ugo arrived for rehearsals at a London studio a mere two minutes before Oti on Thursday
Another couple rumoured to be competing for the Glitterball together is BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker and Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova.
The star, 31, was spotted departing rehearsals half an hour before the Ukrainian-Slovenian ballroom dancer.
In images obtained by Mirror, Dan wore shorts and a black tee as he stepped out of the rehearsal space before Nadiya, 32, emerged with a suitcase and holdall – leading to speculation over the top secret pairing.
Meanwhile, Greg Wise arrived at a London studio to rehearse for Saturday’s launch show at the same time as pro dancer Karen Hauer on Thursday.
This fueled speculation that they are paired up as ballroom partners.
Although they arrived separately, the actor, 55, and the dancer, 39, headed into the venue just two minutes apart.
STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Profession: McFly musician
Tom says: ‘I’m so pleased the news is out it’s been so hard keeping it secret. Equal parts excited and terrified.’
Fun fact: Tom’s McFly bandmate Harry Judd won Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. Tom’s wife Giovanna Fletcher is the reigning champion of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Profession: Actor and comedian
Robert says: ‘It’s very exciting but with a slight undertone of quivering terror.’
Fun Fact: Robert squeezed into a shiny leotard to take the title of Let’s Dance For Comic Relief in 2009, performing What A Feeling from ’80s film Flashdance, beating the likes of Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness to the title.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Rhys says: ‘I have dreamt about being on this show, and I know for a fact that it is going to exceed every expectation’
Fun fact: Rhys has been an actor since the age of ten, performing alongside Matt Smith and Hugh Bonneville.
Katie says: ‘I’m really not a dancer, but I’m so excited to learn a new skill on this crazy journey and cannot wait to slip into some sequins along the way.’
Fun fact: Katie, who played Sinead Tinker in Corrie, won a NTA for Best Serial Drama Performance in 2020.
Profession: CBBC presenter
Tilly says: ’I’m going to put my heart and soul into this and can’t wait to get my dancing shoes on!’
Fun fact: Tilly’s father is celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and the pair often star in dancing TikTok videos.
Nina says: ‘I think I should do this before I’m too old and can’t walk anymore. I just want to grab life by the horns and just enjoy it.’
Fun fact: Nina is a JDRF Ambassador and was awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
Adam says: ‘I’m really looking forward to doing something totally different and challenging myself away from the pool.’
Fun fact: Adam becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title at Tokyo 2020.
Profession: Rugby player and sports pundit
Ugo says: ‘What a dream come true! Strictly is the biggest entertainment show on TV and I can’t wait to show everyone I’ve got more than just dad dancing moves.
Fun fact: Beginning his rugby career at Harlequins in 2002, Ugo went on to make 241 appearances for the club where he scored 89 tries, won a Premiership and made his England debut in 2008.
Profession: TV presenter
AJ says: ‘I think it’s going to be really challenging. I can’t wait for the sequins, the wigs, the glitz and the glamour.’
Fun Fact: Apocalypse Wow hosts AJ has featured on a whopping 14 TV shows this year, competing in the likes oF Cooking With The Stars and Celebrity Karaoke Club. She has appeared as a panelist on Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two in the past, too.
Profession: Great British Bake Off Winner and TV chef
John says: ‘I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family… I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth’
Fun Fact: John is set tp be part of the first ever all-male partnering – the first in 17 years of the show.
Sara says: ‘I’m really nervous because so far the producers keep asking me if I can dance… Truth be told – I haven’t got a clue! I’ve not danced since I did ballet lessons when I was little.’
Fun fact: Sara was the youngest ever dragon on BBC show Dragons’ Den.
Dan says: ‘I’m enjoying the experience when it starts of learning to dance. I’ll be honest I’m not making room on any shelves in my house for the glitterball.’
Fun fact: Dan recently quit Football Focus after 12 years at the helm and has been covering Tokyo Olympics.
Greg says: ‘It’s about being out there and exposing yourself as someone who can’t dance, and learning.’
Fun fact: Greg is married to the actress Emma Thompson who he met while filming Sense and Sensibility.
Rose says: ‘I hope I will do the deaf community proud and break down more barriers. I am also very excited to learn an incredible new skill.’
Fun fact: Rose will make history as Strictly’s first deaf contestant.
Judi says: ‘I’m truly looking forward to pushing myself in something that I could have only dreamed of doing and now it’s actually coming true!’
Fun fact: Judi began comedy when she performed a set in front of her class for a degree module.