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Strictly Come Dancing’s John Whaite asked for female partner over male coupling trolling fears

Strictly Come Dancing’s John Whaite initially asked to dance with a female on the show as he was scared of being bombarded with hate for dancing with a male.

The former Great British Bake Off champion, 32, is appearing with Johannes Radebe, 34, this year as part of the first ever all-male couple to compete on the BBC ballroom dance contest.

But John was ‘anxious’ about dancing with a male because he believes gay people are ‘conditioned’ to expect ‘hate and flack’.

Pushing boundaries: The former Great British Bake Off champion spoke to the December issue of Attitude about his pairing with Johannes Radebe, 34, as part of Strictly’s first male couple

He told the December issue of Attitude magazine: ‘ As soon as I found out, I felt a little bit anxious.

‘I think as gay people, we have to choose the places we go to, we have to choose the people we speak to, who we even look at, because we have been conditioned to kind of expect hate and flack. 

‘I think as gay people, we have to choose the places we go to, we have to choose the people we speak to, who we even look at, because we have been conditioned to kind of expect hate and flack. 

‘So honestly, I was quite anxious about it. I knew that it was an important thing to do, that it was hopefully going to change the way TV is, change the way that children feel when they watch TV — it’s massive — but I was expecting to get a lot of hate, like [people] sliding into the DMs and saying, ‘You’re disgusting’ and that kind of thing.’

Anxious: Strictly Come Dancing's John Whaite, 32, initially asked to dance with a female on the show as he was scared of being bombarded with hate for dancing with a male

Anxious: Strictly Come Dancing’s John Whaite, 32, initially asked to dance with a female on the show as he was scared of being bombarded with hate for dancing with a male

He added: ‘At first, I said, “Can you put me with a straight partner?” because I [believed] that that would be the only way it would be accepted, and then, about a month before we were partnered up, I [thought], actually, I want it to be Johannes; it has to be Johannes… it would be wrong for it to be anyone but Johannes.’ 

The baker explained that he feels uncomfortable with people calling him and Johannes ‘role models’ as they have people helping them behind the scenes from make-up artists to costume designers, insisting they’re ‘lucky’ to be ‘representing for our people’.

Meanwhile, Johannes recently revealed he feels the need to change how he dresses after he was accosted by the police.

Fear: John said: 'I think as gay people, we have to choose the places we go to, we have to choose the people we speak to... because we have been conditioned to kind of expect hate'

Fear: John said: ‘I think as gay people, we have to choose the places we go to, we have to choose the people we speak to… because we have been conditioned to kind of expect hate’

During an appearance on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch last month, the South African stressed that it is crucial it is to consider both his location and appearance when out and about.  

Johannes recalled his ‘terrible’ experiences and admitted that he now avoids wearing a leather jacket and cap. 

He said: ‘I’m going to stop wearing a cap and a black leather jacket. I say that because I get stopped all the time, and they [the police] go, “Oh sorry, it’s not you.”

Speaking out: Johannes recently said he tries to dress in a 'civilised' way after getting stopped by the police, saying he's ditched his leather jacket and hat in public

Speaking out: Johannes recently said he tries to dress in a ‘civilised’ way after getting stopped by the police, saying he’s ditched his leather jacket and hat in public

The December issue of Attitude is out now

The December issue of Attitude is out now

‘I’m tall, I’m black it’s important who you are and what you do and where you hang around.’

The talented dancer revealed how he has to make an effort to dress ‘civilised’ in a bid to prevent being stopped by the police.  

He said: ‘It’s terrible, it really is terrible, you don’t get to experience it often where I come from, that’s probably because 90 per cent of the population is black, I don’t know.

‘You travel the world and that’s always the case … I have to be careful of how I dress. That’s my reality.’ He said: “I do try and look more ‘civilised’ so to speak … It’s a reality for many people.’

The December issue of Attitude is out now. 

New beginnings: John and Johannes are dancing in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing as the show's first ever male couple

New beginnings: John and Johannes are dancing in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing as the show’s first ever male couple


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