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Strictly speaking, Johannes Radebe is ready to find love, but he will not use dating apps

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Strictly Come Dancing pro Johannes Radebe has said he’s been too focused on his career to pursue a relationship in recent years, although the BBC star is now ready to settle down

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Strictly speaking: John and Johannes go through their pair selection routine

Johannes Radebe lit up Strictly Come Dancing as half his first all-male pairing – but he can’t remember the last time he was part of a couple off the dance floor.

The professional dancer, 34, was so caught up in his hectic work schedule that he didn’t have time for romance.

He told The Mirror: “I honestly don’t know when was the last time I was in a relationship. It’s been a while, a few years. i was too busy I’ve dedicated my life to dancing.

“So there was no time for a relationship. I live alone and have been very lonely for the past few years. I was working and didn’t have time to socialize.”

But now he says he’s ready to find love, though he takes on the challenge of meeting that special someone first.







Johannes Radebe has said he is ready for love after being single for some time
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Picture:

BBC/Guy Levy)







The Strictly dancer – whose celebrity partners on the show include Catherine Tyldesley – said he was too busy to be in a relationship
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Picture:

BBC)

He insists he isn’t even approached, saying, “I need to get out more! I need to go to a bar or a nice restaurant and make a date. That would be great. I wouldn’t do dating apps or websites. “

The dancer explained: “I’ve tried this, it doesn’t work. And besides, it’s hard as a public figure. I would love to meet someone at face value and get to know them.”

“I went to clubs with the other dancers when we were on the Strictly tour. That was nice, but I don’t want to meet anyone in a club,” he said recently.

Johannes lives in London having moved to the UK from his native South Africa in 2018 when he was asked to join Strictly after appearing on the South African version of the show.

He said: “It’s been a long journey. I’m very proud of how far I’ve come, but now when the opportunity for a relationship arises, it’s welcome.”







Johannes was half of the BBC show’s first all-male pairing with John Whaite last year
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Picture:

BBC/Guy Levy)

He continued, “I’m here for that. I’m in one place and settled down. I don’t know what changed, but something definitely clicked. Maybe it’s because I now call Britain home.”

“This stability has led to this new perspective on life. I don’t travel as much as I used to – I’m in one place.

“It would be nice to have children one day. But it’s a responsibility I’d like to share. For that you need a partner and a strong relationship. But I feel like I’m that age.”

Johannes started out as a group dancer on the BBC show before working with former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley and actress Caroline Quentin. Then last year he reached the final with Great British Bake Off star John Whaite.

Johannes says: “Being part of the first all-male couple on Strictly meant a lot to me and was very brave of the BBC.

“It represented everything I was and exactly what I was running from, being visible and teaching people there’s nothing wrong with being gay.”






Johannes and John made it to the finale of the latest series (Credit: BBC / Guy Levy)

He continued, “People are still getting killed for being gay. I try to avoid social media. Last year I got messages saying, ‘Don’t come back to Africa, you’re a disgrace’.”

“[They were] called me all sorts of names. I was called a monkey and told I was gross. Some of the people who left these messages were mothers.

“It worries me that they are raising children with so much hate and discrimination.”

It wasn’t until he was 31 that he spoke to his mother, Jacobeth, about his sexuality. He said: “We brought it up after the death of a friend of mine. She said: ‘Have you heard of Puli?’

“I said, ‘He was murdered because he’s gay. The last words he heard were that he was trapped. That could have been me. Because I’m gay.’ She said, ‘You are my son and nothing changes.’”

Johannes grew up in the township of Zamdela and left home when he was 12 to live with a family who had a dance school 80 km away in Johannesburg. Two years later his father Benjamin died.






Johannes said being part of the first all-male couple on Strictly means “a lot” to him (Credit: BBC)

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Johannes says: “I had to grow up very quickly. Mom had to go and work as a housekeeper to support me and my older sister Pearl. One year I was chosen to represent South Africa at a competition in Russia.

But we had to cover most of the expenses, so I couldn’t go. So someone else who had the money got the opportunity instead.”

Johannes is now sharing his life story on his solo UK dance tour Johannes Radebe: Freedom.

He says: “I called it freedom because there is no longer the fear of self-expression and shame, which as a black gay man I have struggled with for years.

“Now I can dance to my own tune for the first time. It took a long time.”

You can find out more about the tour at johannes-live.com

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