Strictly’s John Whaite overjoyed as Richie Anderson confirms he’ll be part of all-male couple: ‘I’m so b***dy pleased’

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John reacted to the news on Saturday morning (Picture: PA/Instagram/@john_whaite)

John Whaite, who was part of Strictly Come Dancing’s first-ever all-male couple in 2021, has told fans it ‘has to be the case every year’ after Richie Anderson was confirmed to be repeating the move.

Great British Bake Off winner John was paired up Johannes Radebe last year, with the pair making it all the way to the final. 

They received heaps of praise from fans throughout the series, both for their incredible routines, and pushing boundaries as part of an all-male couple on the show. 

The duo finished as runners-up behind Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice, and have remained firm friends ever since.

On Friday, it was revealed Radio 2 and The One Show favourite Richie would be about to follow in John’s footsteps by also pairing up with a male professional dancer. 

Now, John has responded in a poignant post on his Instagram stories, writing: ‘I’m so bloody pleased that Strictly are doing a male-male couple again this year and hope it is the case every year from now on.

For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of Richie Anderson who has been announced as the third contestant for Strictly Come Dancing 2022. Issue date: Friday August 5, 2022. See PA story Showbiz Strictly. Photo credit should read: BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
Richie was confirmed to be in all-male couple this year(Credits: PA)
EMBARGOED TO 2130 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18 For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only Undated BBC handout photo of John Whaite and Johannes Radebe during this year's BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing Launch Show. Issue date: Saturday September 18, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
John and Johannes won all of our hearts last year (Picture: PA)

‘It has to be,’ the chef added. ‘Because queer-inclusion isn’t a box-ticking exercise for one series, it’s a fundamental shift in the narrative for life.’

He went on to thank the team on Strictly for ‘continuing to include the outcasts’.

john whaite instagram post
John penned a poignant post on Saturday morning (Picture: Instgram/@john_whaite)

The 2021 finalist finished by throwing his support behind Richie, concluding: ‘All the love and luck to @richieanderson who is going to love every second.’

Richie announced the news yesterday live on Radio 2, and called it an ‘honour’ to be in a same-sex couple. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 24: John Whaite and Johannes Radebe attend the LGBT Awards 2022 at The Brewery on June 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
John and Johannes have remained firm friends (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

‘It’s a massive honour to be part of an all-male dance partnership, it’s so important we have that inclusion on such a huge show,’ he shared.

The first same-sex couple on Strictly was boxing champion Nicola Adams and Katya Jones, in 2020.

BBC handout photo of Nicola Adams (right) and Katya Jones during the dress rehearsal for Saturday's programme in the BBC1 dancing contest, Strictly Come Dancing. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 24, 2020. See PA story SHOWBIZ Strictly. Photo credit should read: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire For use in UK, Ireland or Benelux countries only NOTE TO EDITORS: Not for use more than 21 days after issue. You may use this picture without charge only for the purpose of publicising or reporting on current BBC programming, personnel or other BBC output or activity within 21 days of issue. Any use after that time MUST be cleared through BBC Picture Publicity. Please credit the image to the BBC and any named photographer or independent programme maker, as described in the caption.
Katya and Nicola were the show’s first same-sex couple in 2020 (Picture: PA)

The pair were sadly forced to exit the competition early due to Katya contracting Covid. 

It comes as it was recently reported that producers are thought to be looking to sign celebrities for two same-sex pairings in this year’s 20th-anniversary series

‘It was clear from audience feedback that fans wanted to see celebrities competing with a partner of the same sex if that was their preference,’ an insider said.

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‘After an all-female pairing and an all-male pairing, this year they were keen to have both.’

Adding to The Sun, the source said: ‘The thinking is that same-sex pairings will be very much part of Strictly in the future.’

Strictly Come Dancing returns next month to BBC One. 

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