Strictly Come Dancing confirms Bake Off’s John Whaite for show’s first all-male pairing

Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite will join Strictly Come Dancing as one half of the competition’s first-ever male same-sex pairing.

Whaite won the third series of Bake Off, and currently presents a weekly segment on Steph’s Packed Lunch, but believes he was “born” to be on the Strictly dance floor when the series returns in the autumn.

His spot on the ballroom competition show was announced by Matt Lucas on BBC Radio 2‘s “Zoe Ball Breakfast Show” on Thursday morning (5 August).

Whaite said: “I am so excited! I’m very, very nervous. I’m actually shaking inside.

“I was born to be on that dancefloor. I’m going to have to be taken off kicking and screaming every week.”

From rum baba to the Rumba, all rise for star baker and now future #Strictly star John Whaite!

https://t.co/8UDTG1YUUc pic.twitter.com/D68fZSGlQL

— BBC Strictly (@bbcstrictly) August 5, 2021

In an official statement, queer chef and TV presenter John Whaite added: “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!”

Welcome John.

— Johannes Radebe (@jojo_radebe) August 5, 2021

Tom Fletcher, Robert Webb and AJ Odudu have already been announced as contestants, and the BBC said that the “remaining celebrity contestants joining the new series will be announced in due course”.

John Whaite follows in the footsteps of Strictly Come Dancing’s first same-sex couple, Nicola Adams and Katya Jones

Last year, lesbian boxer Nicola Adams and Katya Jones competed as Strictly Come Dancing’s first-ever same-sex dance partners, despite warnings of a homophobic Strictly boycott by the likes of Ann Widdecombe.

Unfortunately the pair had to drop out of the competition after Jones tested positive for COVID-19, but their short run in the competition was a huge success.

More than 10 million people tuned in to watch their debut episode – the most viewers for a first live show in a decade.