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Strictly Come Dancing 2021's first all male partnership
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John is the fourth confirmed contestant

The latest Strictly Come Dancing 2021 star has been revealed, with Great British Bake Off’s John Whaite set to take to the ballroom in the upcoming series.

He will take part in the show as part of the first ever all-male pairing.

The news was announced on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday morning, with guest presenter Matt Lucas making the announcement on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show.

‘I am so excited! I’m very, very nervous. I’m actually shaking inside,’ he said.

‘I was born to be on that dancefloor. I’m going to have to be taken off kicking and screaming every week.’

John is known for winning the Bake Off in 2012, as well as appearing as a chef on shows such as Lorraine.

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John was named Bake Off champion in 2012

Taking about making Strictly history, he said: ‘It’s an honour. When they asked me if I’d be interested, I bit their hand off.

‘I thought to represent the LGBTQ+ community is one thing. But to see two men dancing together, it’s not neccessarily about sexuality. It’s just about intimacy and respect, and I think that’s going to be a great thing in our culture where men are conditioned not to open up and not to be emotional. I think it might help to combat that. I’m excited on so many levels.’

The baker also revealed that he had yet to discover which professional dancer he would be partnered with.


Posting about the news on Instagram, John added: ‘I’ve been wearing sequins, wigs and jazzy clothes since I was in the womb (winner of the best dressed foetus award, 1989), but even that hasn’t prepared me for the uncontrollable excitement that I’m filled with when I say: I’m part of the 2021 @bbcstrictly line-up.

‘Oh, and I’m going to be dancing with another bloke as the first all-male pairing.’

John also posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, holding back tears as he thanked fans.

‘There’s so many nice messages already. I’m actually crying real tears because of how nice you’re all being,’ he said.

‘It’s a dream come true. I hope there are kids watching who look up and think ‘It’s ok to be who you are.’

It's expected that he will pair with Italian dancer Graziano Di Prima. Graziano has been a regular fixture on the programme since 2018.

A source said: ‘The bosses are thrilled that Strictly will be able to show its first all-male couple this year.

‘And they have their sights firmly on Graziano. There is no reason why a gay celebrity should automatically be paired with a gay dancer.’

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Graziano Di Prima joined the show back in 2018

It comes after Tom Fletcher, Robert Webb and AJ Odudu were confirmed as the first contestants.

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Tom Fletcher, AJ Odudu and Robert Webb were the first stars announced

The announcement of the first three stars to join the cast was made on Wednesday evening on The One Show, after judge Shirley Ballas teased a line-up of competitors that viewers have ‘never seen’ before.

There are still plenty of rumours circulating as fans try to predict who will be next in line.

Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn is one of the names in the mix, as is former professional footballer Peter Crouch, BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin and former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.

After Nicola Adams and Katya Jones competed in the first ever same-sex partnership on Strictly in 2020, John is joining the first ever all-male pair.

While there’s been a lot of speculation about the upcoming series, it’s been confirmed that it is almost returning to pre-pandemic normality – but Blackpool is still off the cards.

Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One later this year.
Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this contaminant free message. However, I do concede, a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.
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