John Whaite is one half of show’s first-ever male pairing
A Manchester University law graduate who won the third series of Great British Bake Off has joined the line-up for this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, it was announced on Thursday.
John Whaite, 33, from Chorley, Lancashire, will swap baking for the ballroom when the show returns for a nineteenth series later this year. He’ll be partnered with another man, making him one half of the show’s first-ever male-pairing.
“I’m so grateful, excited, and nervous to be joining the Strictly 2021 family,” he said. “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.”
From rum baba to the Rumba, all rise for star baker and now future #Strictly star John Whaite! 🕺
— BBC Strictly ✨ (@bbcstrictly) August 5, 2021
Last series saw boxer Nicola Adams become the first celeb to have a same-sex partner.
Whaite impressed viewers in the summer of 2012 when he competed in Bake Off whilst studying for his law exams. He eventually won the show and scored a first in his LLB from Manchester University. It was announced some years later in 2018 that Whaite was going to embark on what was then the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at BPP University in Leeds to pursue a career in family law. But it would appear, at least for now, Whaite has his sights set on the ballroom rather than the bar.
In the years after his big win, Whaite also went on to become a chef, launch a cookery school and write five cook books. He has made a string of TV appearances and has a cooking segment on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4.
Whaite is the fourth celebrity contestant announced for Strictly 2021. He joins McFly bandmate Tom Fletcher, TV presenter AJ Odudu, and actor Robert Webb of Peep Show fame, who were announced as the first contestants on Wednesday. Further contestants are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Whaite is not the only legally-minded contestant to appear on the show; everyone’s favourite ‘judge’, Robert Rinder, came fifth when he took part in the competition back in 2016.