John and Johannes ‘fully anticipated’ hate over Strictly partnership after bullying ordeal

Strictly: John Whaite talks about being bullied at school

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John Whaite, 32, has admitted that he and his Strictly Come Dancing partner, Johannes Radebe, were expecting to receive abuse when they took part in the BBC dance show as the first all-male couple.

Speaking recently on That Gaby Roslin Podcast, John said: “I guess, we knew it was going to happen. We fully anticipated a bit of hate.

“Johannes, being a black man as well, he anticipated a bit of racial hate, which he got. He got racial and homophobic hate during the course of Strictly.

“But we have each other, and we have b****y thick skin now.”

John then emotionally discussed how he and Johannes have faced bullying and rejection throughout their life, simply because of their sexuality.

The baker explained: “We were both bullied at school, we have both experienced rejection for being gay, I think every single gay person has. With that comes an awareness and a thick skin.

“The fact that we had each other through that was beautiful, we both felt the same reaction to it, but we both laughed it off as well.”

While taking part in the show, John has confessed he was apprehensive to sign up for Strictly because of the abuse he had faced throughout his life.

He was worried that the “world wasn’t ready” for two men to dance together and approached the partnership with trepidation.

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In an interview before John and Johannes performed their Couple’s Choice routine, the Bake Off winner said: “When I was younger, I was bullied quite a bit at school for being quite camp.

“When I first signed up for Strictly, as excited as I was, I was apprehensive about dancing with another man.

“I was expecting the world to not be ready for it… I love that the world has changed, but I grew up with a great deal of shame.

“If we had had two men on television dancing together without any question, I think it would have changed my life.”

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John, who is currently rounding up the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, hit back at trolls directly just before competing in the show’s finale.

John received a wave of praise for his statement including from a user named Kris, who said; “We love you. Don’t forget you got so much more praise and raised more awareness… You might not have won the trophy, but you won our hearts!”

Sue echoed: “You were amazing. We are enough.”

And Liz added: “Haters will always hate but they are a minority. You have both been amazing and should be so proud.” 

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