John Whaite Reflects On His Feelings For Strictly's Johannes Radebe In New Memoir

The former Bake Off winner recently admitted to falling "in love" with his Strictly Come Dancing partner during their time on the show.
Johannes Radebe and John Whaite on the 2022 Strictly tour
Johannes Radebe and John Whaite on the 2022 Strictly tour
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

New excerpts from John Whaite’s book have been released, in which the TV chef elaborates more about his feelings towards his former Strictly Come Dancing partner Johannes Radebe.

John and Johannes performed together on the 19th series of Strictly in 2021, making it all the way to the final in what was only the franchise’s second same-sex paring.

Earlier this month, the former Great British Bake Off winner gave an interview to The Times in which he admitted to having fallen “in love” with his Strictly pro, and the ways in which it affected his relationship with his fiancé Paul Atkins.

On Thursday morning, The Sun published extracts from John’s new book Dancing On Eggshells, in which he reflects on the sadness he felt after the Strictly final in December 2021.

After that final dance, I hung up my clothes for the last time. I felt a sense of loss. Not because the competition was over, I was knackered and ready for a break, but because I wouldn’t get to see Johannes every single day,” John writes.

“I watched him as he sat on the window sill of the dressing room drinking a glass of champagne, still sparkling in his bright white show dance outfit. I was jealous of the sweat beads as they shimmered on his beautiful skin.

“I wanted to be close to him... We hugged goodbye, I didn’t want to let go.”

John and Johannes at last year's TV Baftas
John and Johannes at last year's TV Baftas
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

He continued: “Johannes knew [what] could happen. He had seen it a thousand times with his dance companions over the years.

“When you are physically pressed against another man for ten hours a day, things move emotionally... He was being cautious. Strictly has a magical way of revealing the truth.”

John previously told The Times that he and Paul took some time away from one another when Strictly came to an end, which he elaborated further about in his book.

“For a while, Paul and I had to have some time apart,” he recalled. “I felt like I didn’t know what I wanted from my existence any more.

“Paul had moved back with his parents and I thought to myself ‘What the hell are you doing?’ [...] Fourteen years in a solid relationship with a man who loves me unconditionally, a man who would move the earth to make me feel safe and I was pissing all over it.”

John and Johannes performing together on tour
John and Johannes performing together on tour
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

John also shared during his Times interview that he now rarely speaks to Johannes.

“I love him to bits and I worship the ground he walks on, but I have to be mindful that there’s more than my own desires to consider here and if it would be tricky for Paul for me to be in contact with Johannes, then it’s a sacrifice that I have to make,” he said.

“And also for Johannes. He needs to move on with his life too. I hope I always am in contact with him. We shared something really important and that will never be taken away from us.”

Dancing On Eggshells is now on sale, with John admitting in an Instagram post on Thursday morning that he hopes people get more out of the book than just the parts that have made headlines.

There have been a lot of headlines recently about some of the contents of the book,” he said.

“Some of which have been a little out-of-context or inaccurate (I’m not admonishing the journalists – they’re just doing their job – we’ve all got bills to pay and mouths to feed), but the essence of those stories make up just a tiny portion of this book, because there is far more to my 12,511 days on this marbled bowling ball than spatulas, sparkles and spats.”

He concluded: “My biggest hope, is that when you read it, there’ll be a little something that is relevant to your life, and that it might give you a little reassurance that it’s ok to be a messy, flawed human.”

Meanwhile, Johnanes is due to return to Strictly for its 21st series in the autumn, with the 15 celebrities who are taking part being revealed earlier this month.

Among them are news anchors Angela Rippon and Krishnan Guru-Murthy, West End performer Layton Williams and TV personalities Les Dennis and Angela Rippon, as well as soap actors Ellie Leach, Adam Thomas, Nigel Harman and Bobby Brazier.

Check out the full Strictly 2023 line-up here.


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