Strictly announces first ever same-sex male pairing as John Whaite joins lineup
Exciting news all round.
John Whaite has joined the lineup for this year's Strictly Come Dancing, officially becoming part of the show's first same-sex male couple.
Whaite, who won the third season of the Great British Bake Off in 2012, was confirmed as the fourth celebrity taking part in this year's show this week.
The 33-year-old said he's excited but "very, very nervous" to take to the dance floor this year.
He said: “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.
“What’s more exciting for me is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation and inclusion. Whoever it is I’m paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!”
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 5, 2021
John follows in the footsteps of boxer Nicola Adams who made up part of the show's first ever same-sex couple with Katya Jones last year.
The series first broadcasted a pair of same-sex couple male dancers as part of a routine in 2019.
Dancers Johannes Radebe and Graziano di Prima hit the dance floor during a performance by Emilie Sande, with the former saying the routine made him feel that “for the first time in my life, I feel accepted for who I am."
Strictly announced its first three contestants for this year's series earlier this week. McFly's Tom Fletcher, comedian Robert Webb and TV presenter AJ Odudu were the first celebrities confirmed for the series, with CBBC host Rhys Stephenson becoming the fifth.
Tom, whose band member Harry Judd also appeared on the show, said: "I'm equal parts excited and terrified. I feel naked without a guitar. "I think the fact that I’m actually going to be dancing on Strictly this year has only just started to sink in while I’m writing this!
"I’m incredibly excited, of course, but also totally terrified! My kids were excited too until I started showing them my best dad-dancing in the kitchen. I’m not sure how far they’ll get me in the competition but I can’t wait to add some new moves to my embarrassing dad-dancing repertoire."