TV

Meet John Whaite – Bake Off star announced in Strictly’s first all-male pairing

BBC’s most popular dancing show is set to come back with its spanking new season next month, and it will feature an already highly-anticipated cast.

As a matter of fact, Strictly Come Dancing will feature a couple that has been long-awaited for, as it will mark the show’s history, as well as leading an example for inclusivity in mainstream media.

Moreover, Strictly will welcome its first all-male partnership in the series’ history, and it will see baker John Whaite as part of the soon-to-become iconic duo.

John’s important debut follows a groundbreaking performance by boxer Nicola Adams, who was the first to have a same-sex partner on last year’s series.

Despite being more skilled using his hands – a talent which saw him win the third series of The Great British Bake Off – John has expressed his excitement to be competing using his feet, this time around.

He told BBC Radio 2: “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."

The 32-year-old chef was born in Chorley, Lancashire and grew up on a farm in Wrightington.

Baking was a hobby that John acquired from the young age of five, following his parents divorce.

John has had a history of juggling multiple activities at once, as he gained a first-class degree after sitting his law exams at the University of Manchester while filming The Great British Bake Off.

Additionally, the cake enthusiast briefly worked as a banker in the Royal Bank of Scotland's asset finance department.

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John’s heart belonged behind the stove as he rejected a career in law and banking after winning the series, and decided to focus on cookery while taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu.

John’s TV career took off following his success on the baking competition show, and has since appeared as a resident chef on ITV's Lorraine programme, hosted by Lorraine Kelly.

The openly gay kitchen artist – who has published five cookery books and runs his own cookery school – will see his Strictly’s performance go down in BBC’s history, regardless of his score.

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