John Whaitehas credited his dance partner Johannes Radebe and Strictly Come Dancing for improving his confidence.
John, who won The Great British Bake Off in 2012, and Johannes were the hit BBC dancing show’s first same-sex couple to compete.
In a video shown before the pair performed their incredible Pirates of The Caribbean routine, John explained his lack of confidence before going on the programme.
He said: “I think before the show, people thought I was quite confident, but I’m actually quite a shy person.
“(Strictly) has shown me that confidence is something that we learn, and it was Johannes that was there behind me every week and he’s pushed me to be more self-believing.
“I’ll be forever grateful for that because, in my 32 years, that is something that I have really, really been looking for.”
He continued: “I’m deeply proud of myself. We have felt the pressure on our shoulders at times, but every time we have we remember why we’re doing it.
“I’ve really had to push through a lot of voices in my head saying ‘no’, saying ‘you can’t do this’.
“To have achieved this is truly groundbreaking for me.”
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At one stage in the competition, John’s nerves became so severe thatthe baker even considered quitting Strictly.
Chatting to Claudia Winkleman on BBC Radio 2 ahead of the final, John said of how he felt on his first day: “I thought maybe I would drop out, I would get too nervous, I would get overcome with emotion.
“But every week we’ve just chipped away a little bit more, a little bit more. And it’s really remarkable how unremarkable the transformation has been.”
Johannes echoed similar sentiments and admitted that while he was nervous at the start, by the time the final came round he felt much more confident.
“There was nerves in the beginning, darling, there’s no nerves anymore,” he said to Claudia.
“And I say that because we’re in the final, which is wild for me, because truth be told I didn’t think we were ever going to get here.
“But like John says, we’ve taken it week by week, that’s what we promised ourselves when we got into the partnership, to take it week by week.”
“That is why I went home on Saturday so I could continue choreographing for the week ahead, because I felt we needed to focus on what was going on right there in the moment,” Johannes continued.
John and Johannes only competed against Giovanni Pernice and Rose Ayling-Ellis in tonight’s final, after Kai Widdrington and AJ Odudu had to drop out after AJ tore a ligament in her ankle.
The dancing duo ended up coming second to Gio and EastEnders actor Rose whotook home the infamous Glitterball trophy.
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