John Whaite referenced his "mental" exhaustion from the Strictly Come Dancing campaign back in 2021 – shedding new light on the revelations that he 'fell in love' with dance partner Johannes Radebe.
Former Great British Bake Off champ John, 34, admitted to The Times that he ended up falling for his professional partner, 36, while they were competing together on the hit show, resulting in a brief separation from his fiancé Paul Atkins.
Exclusively catching up with OK! two years ago, he commented: "It's been more mentally challenging to have that stamina to learn a new dance every week and to be with the same person for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week practically.
"You're asking a lot. But luckily I've got a good one in Johannes…"
The eventual-Strictly runner-up intriguingly went on to add: "My partnership with Johannes has been… I don't wanna jinx it but it's been plain sailing. We got on like a house on fire. He's got so much time for everyone; the thing with Johannes is, no matter who he's speaking to he always extends conversation to everyone.
"He's what I would describe as a true classic gentleman, he has taught me so much about not only dancing but what it is to be a nice, kind human being, and hopefully it'll rub off a little bit. He's tamed this shrew that's for sure!"
As for his beau Paul, John couldn't give him enough credit for the way he'd dealt with the Strictly experience two years ago – and what we now know is that Paul knew all along about his TV star partner's true feelings at work.
"My fiancé Paul has been remarkable. He's been patient, he's made my lunches, he's washed my dirty underpants, he makes my bed so when I get home everyday my bed's made," the dancer told OK!
"I don't think I could've done Strictly Come Dancing without his support – well I could've done… we're independent people, but to have him there fighting my corner; supporting me and telling me it's OK, I am the luckiest boy in the world to have that man in my life."
Meanwhile, in John's latest chat, he went on to suggest that the very nature of Strictly inevitably lends itself to such romantic twists – hence the 'curse'.
"When you're physically pressed against another man for 10 hours a day, things move emotionally… I fell in love with him," he reflected. "I can’t speak for him – because I’m not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there.
"Paul of all people deserved to understand how I was feeling," John also pointed out.
"You go through life being told that you’ll fall in love with someone, you’ll get married, you’ll have children and that’s it. But love can’t just be directed to one person. The heart can easily split into two or three or four. And those loves aren’t mutually exclusive."
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer next month.
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