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Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe reveals shocking homophobic bullying he suffered as a teenager

Strictly Come Dancing professional Johannes Radebe has detailed a shocking homophobic incident he suffered as a teenager. 

The 32-year-old grew up in South Africa, which he describes as “a country where homosexuality was frowned upon” and in a new interview, he discusses a horrifying moment which saw a fellow pupil come towards him with a baseball bat. 

He told the Sun: “This happened in school, a fellow pupil. I was ­terrified. All I can remember was asking, ‘What have I done? What did I do to you?’ He said, ‘Well, you’re a f****t and disgusting’.

“We ended up physically fighting because when somebody comes at you with a baseball bat, I don’t think you can just stand there. 

The last dance: Catherine and Johannes exited the competition after losing the dance off on Sunday (BBC Pictures)

“It was more jealousy — I was never there at school as I was usually away ­ dancing in competitions.”

“He was not a fan of me — he was punishing me for the fact that I am what I am,” Johannes concluded. 

The dancer joined Strictly last year but 2019 marks the first time he has been paired with a celebrity. 

Sadly after failing to impress with their Cha Cha, Johannes and ex-Corrie actress Catherine Tyldesley exited the competition on Sunday night

Describing Johannes as her “best friend”, Catherine said after their last dance: “I’ve loved every second, this man has changed my life.”

Johannes added: “I want to say thank you to this woman. She has been a light for me. 

“Thank you for accepting me for who I am and for showing me joy every day. Thank you.”

Johannes will still take part in group dances during the remainder of the series. 

This Saturday, he’ll also make Strictly history by taking part in the show’s first ever same-sex dance with close friend Graziano Di Prima.


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