John Whaite theorises which pro dancer he will be paired with on Strictly in first all-male couple 

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    John Whaite has postulated which professional dancer he will be paired with on Strictly Come Dancing and hopes to make his ballroom debut in heels as part of the show’s first all-male couple. 

    The former GBBO contestant, 33, explained why starring on the forthcoming show in a same-sex pairing is such an ‘honour,’  before recalling the moment he discovered he was confirmed for the 2021 series. 

    During an episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch on Tuesday, he said he will find out his official dance partner tomorrow, but must keep it a secret before the launch episode on September 18th. 

    Wow: John Whaite has postulated which professional dancer he will be paired with on Strictly as he hopes to make his ballroom debut in heels this month as part of the first all-male couple

    Wow: John Whaite has postulated which professional dancer he will be paired with on Strictly as he hopes to make his ballroom debut in heels this month as part of the first all-male couple

    Speculating about who his partner might be, 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.’

    John identifies as gay and he described what it means to him to be part of the first all-male pairing in Strictly history.   

    Wow: The GBBO star, 33, explained why starring on the forthcoming show in a same-sex pairing is such an'honour,' before recalling the moment he was confirmed for the 2021 series

    Wow: The GBBO star, 33, explained why starring on the forthcoming show in a same-sex pairing is such an ‘honour,’ before recalling the moment he was confirmed for the 2021 series

    Conversation: During an episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch on Tuesday, he said he will find out his official dance partner tomorrow, but must keep it a secret before the launch episode on September 18th

    Conversation: During an episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch on Tuesday, he said he will find out his official dance partner tomorrow, but must keep it a secret before the launch episode on September 18th

    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.’

    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.

    Pros: 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]' (pictured L-R Anton Du Beke, Gorka Marquez, Graziano, Neil Jones, Aljaž, Giovanni Pernice and Johannes)

    Pros: 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]’ (pictured L-R Anton Du Beke, Gorka Marquez, Graziano, Neil Jones, Aljaž, Giovanni Pernice and Johannes)

    ‘”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!’        

    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.’

    Cute couple: The baking aficionado is currently engaged to graphics designer Paul Atkins (pictured) and joked that he has already begun getting in the Strictly mood with his fiance

    Cute couple: The baking aficionado is currently engaged to graphics designer Paul Atkins (pictured) and joked that he has already begun getting in the Strictly mood with his fiance

    The chef also revealed to Steph that he received a thoughtful gift from fellow contestant Greg Wise, when they ran into each other at the Strictly studio.

    John said: ‘Greg Wise gave me a jar of his damson jam. There was a knock on my dressing room door and Greg was there in this sequin shirt clutching a jar of jam. So I’ve got a jar of jam from the damsons from Emma Thompson’s tree.’

    When asked what he plans on giving to the cooking show judge in return, John quipped: ‘I’m going to make him a spiced pumpkin cake, if I have time. I’ve got one in the freezer I might defrost that.’ 

    John revealed he also received celebrity support from former Strictly contestant Michelle Visage. He said: ‘When it was announced, Michelle Visage messaged me giving me loads of tips. She said “start stretching now.”‘ 

    Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4 

    Shock: On the moment he was confirmed for Strictly, he said:'I got the call when I was in a supermarket on the frozen food aisle, I had to whisper to [my fiancé] Paul... We got in the car and drove home in silence, we didn’t know how to process it'

    Shock: On the moment he was confirmed for Strictly, he said: ‘I got the call when I was in a supermarket on the frozen food aisle, I had to whisper to [my fiancé] Paul… We got in the car and drove home in silence, we didn’t know how to process it’

    STRICTLY COME DANCING 2021: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

    TOM FLETCHER

    Age: 36

    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!

    ROBERT WEBB

     Age: 48

    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. 

    RHYS STEPHENSON  

    Age: 27

    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 MCGLYNN

     Age: 28

    Profession: Actress

    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. 

    TILLY RAMSAY

    Age: 19

    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 WADIA  

    Age: 52

    Profession: Actress

    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 PEATY

    Age: 26

    Profession: Athlete 

    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.

    UGO MONYE

     

    Age: 38

    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.

     

    AJ ODUDU

    Age: 33

    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.

    JOHN WHAITE

    Age: 33

    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 DAVIES 

    Age: 37  

    Profession:  Businesswoman

    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 WALKER

    Age: 44 

    Profession: Journalist

    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 WISE

    Age: 55

    Profession: Actor

    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 AYLING-ELLIS

    Age: 30

    Profession: Actress

    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 LOVE

    Age: 41

    Profession: Comedienne 

    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.

     

     

     

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