Strictly boss says first all-male partnership is “something we’ve always wanted to do”

John Whaite is set to make Strictly history this year by competing in the first all-male partnership.

John Whaite

Strictly Come Dancing executive producer Sarah James has spoken about the show’s first ever all-male partnership, revealing that it’s something the team has “always wanted to do”.


The upcoming series, which begins later this month, will see Bake Off winner John Whaite make Strictly Come Dancing history by becoming the first male celebrity to pair up with a male professional.

Speaking to press ahead of the Strictly 2021 launch, James said that she’s “really excited” to see John and his partner take to the dance floor.

“It’s definitely something that we’ve always wanted to do and I’m really excited about John doing it. I think he’s already proven that he’s an amazing spokesperson for it and obviously, he’s a household name and he is just a brilliant guy so I’m really looking forward to it being John.”

She added that Nicola Adams and professional Katya Jones, who were the show’s first all-female couple last year, paved the way for Whaite this year.

“I think Nicola and Katya were amazing last year and I think everybody really, really enjoyed that partnership. It was obviously a shame that it was cut short because of what happened but they’ve 100 per cent paved the way. The research that we’ve done since has prove that everybody really, really appreciated that partnership so I’m looking forward to John doing that.”

Olympic boxer Nicola Adams made it to the third week of Strictly’s 2020 series but unfortunately had to withdraw from the competition after Jones tested positive for coronavirus.


This year, John Whaite will be joining the Strictly Come Dancing line-up, which includes the likes of McFly’s Tom Fletcher, The Crown’s Greg Wise, EastEnders star Nina Wadia and Loose Women’s Judi Love.

Strictly Come Dancing starts on BBC One on Saturday, 18th September. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide or visit our Entertainment hub for the latest news.