John Whaite surprised by support for his same sex Strictly Come Dancing pairing
- Bang Showbiz
- 17 September 2021
'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant John Whaite has been blown away by the support he has received since he was announced to be part of the first all-male pairing on the upcoming new series of the BBC One ballroom show
John Whaite has been overwhelmed by the support he has received since he was announced to be part of the first all-male pairing on 'Strictly Come Dancing'.
The former 'Great British Bake Off' winner was bracing himself for a barrage of abuse from online trolls when it was confirmed he would be dancing with a man but the opposite has happened and it was warmed his heart.
Speaking to BANG Showbiz and other assembled media ahead of the launch of the BBC ballroom show, he said: "The reaction has been so positive. I genuinely did think I was going to receive a fair bit of hate in my inbox because you do as a gay man, you get a lot of hate. It’s something you grow up and you learn to deal with.
“Shouldn’t have to, but we do. And I can honestly say that I haven’t had a single message of negativity.”
John, 32, is not taking his history making appearance lightly, as he has realised that being a gay man on a prime time Saturday night show performing with another guy will give young people at home who are discovering their sexuality a role model on screen as well as educating boys about the importance of male intimacy.
He added: "I realised how important a step forward this is.
“Because kids who watch the show, to have same sex role models, it’ll give them a little bit of hope for the future. It won’t make them grow up with the same shame that I grew up with.
“It’s not just about queer people. It’s about intimacy generally. Two men, whether they’re straight or gay, can be intimate with each other. I hope this comes to show that it breaks down that notion of toxic masculinity, which is so rife, especially in Britain."
'Strictly Come Dancing' launches this Saturday night (18.09.21) and John is hoping he is partnered with South African dancer Johannes Radebe, who mentored Caroline Quentin last year.
He said: "It has to be Johannes. It’d be really important for him to have the first all-male couple, it would be a really powerful message for him as well. That’s not to say in the future it has to be two gay men.”
'Strictly Come Dancing' airs on BBC One on Saturday at 7.45pm.