Strictly: John Whaite shares 'unglamorous' side of training
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The baker, who won the third series of the Great British Bake Off in 2012, is set to appear on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, which launches this weekend. As a regular on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, John said a text message from host Steph McGovern brought him to tears when he confirmed he would be taking part in the series.
“When Steph McGovern found out, she texted me and I said ‘I know your news,'” he recalled.
“I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone at this point so I just said ‘Don’t know what you’re talking about mate.’
“I didn’t let on. And then before I was about to go on BBC Radio Two with Matt Lucas, Steph texted me.
“She said just be your fabulous, gorgeous, lovely self and she’s not lovey dovey like that.
“She doesn’t like hugs and stuff, she’s very, very down to earth.
“So for her to say that, it actually made me cry.”
When asked why he wanted to take part in the series, John said: “Watching the show last year in the middle of a pandemic showed how important the show is.”
The 33-year-old will be part of the show’s first all-male partnership.
“The reaction has been so positive,” he explained. “I thought I’d get a fair bit of hate in my inbox.
“Because as a gay man, you get a lot of hate you learn to deal with.
“But I can honestly say that I haven’t had anything like that.”
John he hopes the change can have a positive impact on younger audiences watching the series.
“But also, it’s not just about queer people, it’s about intimacy in general.
“I hope it breaks down that notion of toxic masculinity.”
Although he won The Great British Bake Off, John confessed he would not be baking for his fellow contestants or the judges.
“I’m not making cakes because of the pressure,” he remarked.
“The pressure of the other celebs, as well as being judged for my cakes – I can’t do that!”
John admitted he is looking forward to Halloween week if he makes it because he described himself as being “obsessed” with Halloween.
He will be taking on 14 other couples in the highly-anticipated annual competition, with one being knocked out each week.
Strictly Come Dancing 2021 launches on Saturday, September 18 on BBC One.
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