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John Whaite on the four Strictly pros ‘tall enough’ to dance with him in first all-male couple

Appearing on Channel 4's Steph's Packed Lunch, the Bake Off winner also said he wanted to dance in heels.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures: BBC

John Waite, the first male celebrity to be taking part in a competing same-sex couple on Strictly Come Dancing has been speculating about who he could be partnered with, and it’s pretty much what everyone was thinking.

It was announced in August that John would be on the show, following in the footsteps of Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, who along with Strictly pro Katya Jones, made history as the first same-sex couple on the show.

The TV chef, who is gay and won the third series of The Great British Bake Off in 2012, now hosts a slot on Channel 4 daytime show Steph’s Packed Lunch.

“I’m really hoping I get to do a dance in heels”

Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch John discussed who he thought he could be paired with when the new series debuts later this year.

“There are four lads who I think are tall enough for me to dance with. There’s Graziano [Di Prima], Kai [Widdrington], Johannes [Radebe] and Aljaz [Škorjanec]. So, they’re the four I think who are tall enough for me. But, they might give me a shorter dancer and put him in heels!”

He added: “But I’m really hoping I get to do a dance in heels.”

Not long after the announcement that John would be on the show, there were reports that the Strictly pros (all of whom John appears to have guessed would be suitable for him) were all jumping at the chance to be partnered with him. Lucky John!

At the time sources told The Sun that Strictly pro newbie Kai Widdrington was the preferred choice for producers. The source said: “Producers are keen to pair up John with the right dancer and that means ensuring he has someone of a similar height – and Kai fits the bills perfectly.”

John describes being asked to be a part of the first male same-sex couple on the show as an “honour”. Continuing he said: “I think if I’d seen two lads or lasses dancing together on Saturday night TV and nobody made a fuss about it, I don’t think I’d have grown up with quite so much shame for being gay.

“I just hope that there are kids out watching, who don’t even question it; who watch it and think ‘I am who I am and I’m comfortable with that and I’m accepted and I’m loved and I can be loved for who I am. It’s a massive privilege”

Last year, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and professional Katya Jones became the first same-sex couple to compete on the show, but sadly had to pull out of the competition after Katya tested positive for coronavirus.

In 2019 Graziano Di Prima and Johannes Radebe also performed together on the show as the first professional male same-sex couple.

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