'Strictly Come Dancing': John Whaite joins first all-male team

Aug. 5 (UPI) -- John Whaite has joined the cast of Strictly Come Dancing Season 19.

The BBC announced Thursday that Whaite, a chef and television personality who won The Great British Bake Off Season 3, will compete in the new season of Strictly Come Dancing.


Whaite will be part of the show's first all-male partnership. Nicola Adams competed as part of the first same-sex female team in Season 18.

Whaite said in an interview Thursday on BBC Radio 2 that it was an "honor" to join the first all-male team on the show.

"When they asked me if I'd be interested, I just bit their hand off because I thought, to do that and represent the LGBTQ+ community is one thing, but also just to see two men or two women dancing together, it's not necessarily about sexuality, it's just about intimacy and respect," Whaite said.

"And I think that's going to be such a great thing in our culture, where men are sort of conditioned not to open up and not to be emotional. I think it might help to combat that," he added. "So I'm excited on so many levels to be doing the first all-male partnership."


Whaite joins previously announced contestants Tom Fletcher, AJ Odudu and Robert Webb.

Anton Du Beke will replace Bruno Tonioli as a judge in Season 19. The season will feature four new professional dancers, Cameron Lombard, Kai Widdrington, Jowita Przystal and Nikita Kuzmin.

Strictly Come Dancing Season 19 will premiere on BBC One in the fall.

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