Words: Tim Heap
Strictly Come Dancing pro and Attitude's Februry Travel issue cover star Graziano Di Prima has opened up about his friendship with fellow pro dancer Johannes Radebe.
The pair, who both joined Strictly in 2018, made headlines in November last year when they performed a same-sex dance routine together for the first time in the show’s history - but what viewers may not have known is that the pair’s friendship goes back further than their time on Strictly.
“So, we were good friends already. But when we started on Strictly, we were able to spend much more time together.”
This summer, Graziano is set to marry fellow dancer Giada Lini, with Johannes chosen to be his best man.
While their dance together was Strictly’s first same-sex performance, Graziano says it’s not uncommon for him and Johannes to dance together while waiting for rehearsals to start.
Graziano Di Prima, shot by Joseph Sinclair for Attitude's Travel issue, out now
“It is normal for us,” he explains. “But it was so important for Johannes, and so many people were like, ‘Yes, finally.’
“It was just like a breath of happiness: two friends, who happen to be men, dancing together.”
The 25-year-old Italian adds: "For him, he was like 'You can only imagine how important this is for me, that you are standing beside me and dancing with me'.
"I said: 'Anytime - you've got to dance with me at my wedding!'"
Watched by millions, Graziano and Johannes were praised by many, but the BBC received almost 200 complaints following the performance.
But the dancers were unphased by the haters, and Graziano says the audience faded away during the dance: “When we were performing, it was beautiful … we were just in our own space.
“Afterwards, we were crying and laughing. It’s one of those things that I’ll remember for ever.
“I had the chance to dance with my friend, and it was the best thing.”
Read the full interview with Graziano Di Prima in Attitude's February Travel issue, out now.