Inside Strictly pro Johannes Radebes life away from spotlight – from relationship to hidden skills

Inside Strictly pro Johannes Radebes life away from spotlight – from relationship to hidden skills

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Johannes Radebe is hands down one of the most entertaining Strictly Come Dancing professionals, and the dancer is rumoured to be making history during this year's series.

Numerous reports have claimed the South African star will soon be revealed as Bake Off star John Whaite's dance partner, making history as the show's first ever all-male pairing.

Despite being pictured together during the run-up to the show's launch on September 18, both Johannes and John have stayed silent on whether or not they will be dancing together.

They've also both posted social media content from what appears to be the exact same dance studio, which could be a huge tell-tale sign, as the show's pairs are usually allocated one studio that is only used by them.

Johannes is the only openly gay male dancer on the BBC1 show, and has already played a huge part in pushing the traditional boundaries previously associated with the show, so we would love to see him partnered with John.

Away from his time on the competition show, Johannes tends to keep his private life exactly that – private. However, his fans are always eager to find out as much as possible on their favourite Strictly pro, as they love to keep up with what he's getting up to.

Here's all you need to know about Strictly' Johannes Radebe…


How old is Johannes Radebe and what is his dance background?

Johannes Radebe is 34 years old and joined Strictly Come Dancing as a professional back in 2018.

Hailing from Zamdela Sasolburg in South Africa, the talented BBC star took his first steps towards a professional dancing career at the tender age of seven.

After falling in love with the glamour and discipline of dance, he dedicated the following 13 years to competing in local competitions, climbing up the Latin ranks, before eventually adding Ballroom and other dance styles, such as African Contemporary and Jazz.

Johannes then started coming out on top of national dance competitions, taking his talent worldwide and competing internationally, leaving South Africa at the age of 21 to pursue his dreams.

In 2014, he performed on Strictly Come Dancing SA, before a stint on Dancing With The Stars SA in 2018, which quickly led to his re-location here to the UK as he was headhunted by BBC bosses.

This year's series of Strictly Come Dancing marks his fourth on the show, and his third with a dance partner, as for his first, filmed in late 2018, he only took part in the wider dance routines performed by the professionals.

In 2019, Johannes catapulted to fame after we saw him partnered with former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley.

Following his popularity with the public, he was allocated a partner yet again in 2020, leading Caroline Quentin to eighth place.

Upon joining Strictly, he said: “Joining Strictly Come Dancing is one of the greatest achievements of my dancing career.

“It is such an honour to be chosen to be a part of an incredible cast and be part of one of the biggest shows that is celebrated worldwide.”

Is Johannes single or is he in a relationship?

Johannes is a pretty private person, and little is known about whether or not he is current seeing anyone.

However, he is very open about his sexuality and has spoken openly about how dance helped him come out, referring to the dance studio as his “refuge” when he was bullied over being gay.

Writing for Metro, Johannes said: “As a young boy in South Africa, my family clearly knew I was ‘special’ – in the best way possible – but they never acted like there was anything different about me.

“I am grateful they never imposed ideas about sexuality on me – be that straight or gay – and I was allowed to just be a child.”

Johannes called his time so far within dance “the most beautiful journey” and explained he is now part of a team where everyone understands him.

He added: “While I witnessed homophobia in the outside world and experienced bullying, my home and the dance studio were my refuge.

"It was a safe haven where I could just be me."

Johannes has been a huge driving force behind Strictly's diverse and celebratory dance routine over the past few years.

Two years ago, he and fellow professional Graziano di Prima performed the first same sex dance ever done on the show, as they danced to a live performance from Emeli Sande.

He added that he “couldn’t have been happier” to have been the face of such an incredible moment.


Johannes was also the lead dancer during a performance in drag, dancing alongside Gorka Marquez and Giovanni Pernice as part of a tribute to Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

“Since that dance in heels, I’ve gone on to perform the show’s first same-sex partner dance with Graziano – which was so special and I couldn’t have been happier to be the face of it,” he said.

“Then Nicola and Katya did us all proud when they were paired up in the most recent series.”

What does Johannes do outside of Strictly?

The hilarious dancer has appeared on a number of other TV shows here in the UK, such Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel, which aired earlier this year.

Despite his general knowledge not being the best, his sparkling personality shone through.

Thousands of Johannes' fans have pleaded the BBC give him his own show, as well as begging the bosses of RuPaul's Drag Race UK to invite him on as a celebrity judge.

A massive fan of all things drag, Johannes frequently posts about his love for the World of Wonder show, captions plenty of his selfies with iconic quotes from the series, and even dresses up in drag himself from time to time.

We are also getting to see Johannes' skills in the kitchen, as he's on Celebrity MasterChef 2021.

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