Strictly's John Whaite prepared himself for ‘hate' over show's first all-male partnership

Strictly Come Dancing contestant John Whaite has admitted that he braced himself for ‘hate’ when it was announced that he was to be part of the show’s first ever all-male partnership.

Speaking on the countdown to the launch show, which airs tonight, former Bake Off champ John, explained: “I genuinely did think that I was going to receive a fair bit of hate because you do as a gay man – you get a lot of hate.”

The 32-year-old, who also regularly appears on daytime show Steph’s Packed Lunch, continued: “You grow up and learn to deal with it, you shouldn’t have to, but we do.”

© BBC John Whaite is part of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing

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However, the star went on to say that he’d found the reaction to be the total opposite, and that Strictly fans can’t wait to see him and his yet to be revealed pro partner in action.

John explained: “I can honestly say that I haven’t had a single message of negativity.”

The TV star continued: “I was talking to Matt Lucas on the radio [when he was announced as a contestant] and I realised how important a step forward this is.”

© BBC John is part of this year’s Strictly line-up

He added: “Because little kids who watch the show, you have role models, you know, same sex role models, it will give them a little bit of hope for the future.”

“It won’t make them grow up with the same shame that I grew up with.”

John continued that although the all-male partnership is hugely important, he wants viewers at home to simply judge him on his dancing skills.

He explained: “For me the show is only about the dancing and I want people to vote for me if they think I’m good, not because I’m in a male-male relationship.”

© INSTAGRAM John is a regular on our TV screens

Now he’s looking forward to seeing what he can do on the BBC dance floor, admitting that he usually only dances when he’s at a party.

John confessed: “My current dance skills are reliant on me being a bit pickled in a pub or a nightclub. If I try to do a dance move sober it doesn’t work out very well.”

“But I used to do dance, I used to do ballet and tap, so I can pick up choreography. And if I watch things, I pick things up quite quickly so I’m hoping my old hips don’t give up on me.”

“I’ve been putting WD40 on them for the past few weeks to limber them up!”

© Instagram/ John Whaite John has already been hard at working in the training room

Meanwhile, he can’t wait to embrace every part of the show, including the spray tans and revealing costumes.

John revealed: “I’m looking forward to the sheerest outfits possible, I want mesh, I want sequins, I want everything on Strictly. I want to be as glamorous as possible!”

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Strictly Come Dancing starts tonight at 7.45pm on BBC One

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