Strictly's Johannes Radebe shares how John Whaite helped him be open with his mum for the first time

·TV Reporter
·2 min read
Johannes Radebe says dancing with John Whaite has changed his life. (BBC)
Johannes Radebe says dancing with John Whaite has changed his life. (BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing's Johannes Radebe has told how dancing with John Whaite as the show's first all-male couple has transformed his relationship with his own mum.

The pro dancer has had huge success in dance contests and on Strictly both in the UK and South Africa, but said that for the first time, he was able to be open with his mum thanks to his partnership with Whaite.

Read more: Strictly 2021's best moments of the series

Speaking to Yahoo and other media, Radebe explained: "For what it represents, John did say that he was a little bit apprehensive as well, dancing with another man on the show and I think as well for me, for all kinds of reasons.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 20:25:01 on 11/12/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 11/12/2021 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ++Dress Run++
Publication of this image is strictly embargoed until 2025 hours Saturday December 11th, 2021. Johannes Radebe, John Whaite - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
The couple has changed the face of the show. (BBC/Guy Levy)

"But my mum's relationship with me has improved and it has improved because of this partnership. For that, I've won. I've won because my mum follows my journey with joy, religiously, which is something that hasn't happened in I don't know how (long).

"That for me is the biggest take away from this partnership."

Asked whether it had brought him and his mum closer for the first time, he replied: "It has, because we've never confronted me and my issue and this whole thing.

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are competing in the final. (BBC)
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe are competing in the final. (BBC)

"I knew that when I told her about the partnership, she said, 'oh, you're dancing with a man?' I said, 'Yes, Mummy, I'm dancing with a man and his name is John.'

"There was this awkward silence and she was like, ok. I think like everyone else she was waiting to see how it played out because she's such a traditionalist and I remember our first Tango, she called me and was like, 'that was brilliant'. It has been special."

Read more: John Whaite 'comfortable in own skin for first time' thanks to Johannes Radebe

Radebe also admitted that he had been determined to get matched with former Bake Off winner Whaite as soon as he was announced as a contestant.

He said: "Listen, when he got announced I went down on my knees, I prayed, consulted with my ancestors, I was like 'Africa, come through'. 

John Whaite and Johannes Radebe performed the Tango for their first live dance on 'Strictly'. (BBC)
John Whaite and Johannes Radebe performed the Tango for their first live dance on 'Strictly'. (BBC)

"I was being very selfish about it all because I was like, 'I want him. They better give him to me, I deserve this'."

Whaite and Radebe will compete in tonight's final alongside Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice. AJ Odudu and Kai Widdrington have been ruled out of the final after Odudu suffered ligament damage to her ankle.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021's final airs tonight, 18 December at 7pm on BBC One.

Watch: John Whaite will live life by 'Johannes-isms' after Strictly

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