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TV chef John Whaite confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing's first all-male pairing

John Waite - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Chef John Whaite has shared all on Strictly and being part of the show's first ever male same-sex pairing.

The Great British Bake Off star announced he was taking part in this year's series last month on Zoe Ball’s Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2, where Matt Lucas was filling in.

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John will make history on the show as part of Strictly's first all-male partnership.

John said: "I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family. I’ve been wearing sequins and jazzy attire since I was three years old and can’t wait to hurl myself, full throttle, around the most glamorous dance floor on earth.

"What’s more exciting for me, is that I’m going to be one half of the first all-male partnership, which is a great step forward in representation and inclusion. Whoever it is I’m paired with, I hope they are up for a challenge as I want our routines to include lots of spectacular lifts!"

Speaking on Radio 2, he explained: "When they asked me if I'd be interested, I just bit their hand off because I thought, to do that and represent the LGBTQ+ community is one thing, but also just to see two men or two women dancing together, it's not necessarily about sexuality, it's just about intimacy and respect," he said.

"And I think that's going to be such a great thing in our culture, where men are sort of conditioned not to open up and not to be emotional. I think it might help to combat that. So I'm excited on so many levels to be doing the first all-male partnership."

Speaking ahead of Saturday's launch show, John said he was overwhelmed by the reaction to the news.

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He said: "The reaction has been so positive, because I'm doing the first all male partnership I thought I was going to receive a fair bit of hate, but I can say that I haven't had a single message of negativity.

"I realised how important a step forward it is, for kids to have same sex role models it will give them a little bit of hope for the future.

"But it's not about queer people it's about intimacy in general and I hope this comes to show it breaks down that notion of toxic masculinity, if you look at Europe people are much more intimate there."

And John said he hoped to be partnered with professional Johannes Radebe, saying: "I think it would be really important for him to have the first all male couple, that's not to say it wouldn't be two straight men, but I think for the first it should be Johannes. "

John Whaite is a British cook who won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, in 2012, at the age of 23. John has presented various TV shows and currently has a weekly cooking segment on Steph’s Packed Lunch.

He has written for a variety of newspaper and magazine publications on the topics of food and mental health, and has published five cookery books. John also runs his own cookery school, John Whaite’s Kitchen.

Other celebs on the Strictly Come Dancing 2021 line up include singer and musician from McFly Tom Fletcher, actor, author and comedian Robert Webb and TV presenter AJ Odudu.

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The new series starts Saturday night at 7:45PM on BBC One.

Picture: John Waite - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ray Burmiston

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