Dancing on Eggshells – John Whaite


Well-known as the third-series winner of The Great British Bake Off and runner up of Strictly in 2021 with his same-sex dancing partner Johannes Radebe, John Whaite’s personal story is a complicated narrative that embraces coming out on Bake Off, his ongoing body dysmorphia and bulimia as well as mental health challenges and a changing relationship with his mother, particularly after the break-up of his parents marriage.

Each chapter takes an element of food or culture and loops it back to John’s northern upbringing above a fish and chip shop which instilled a strong work ethic, as well as using baking as a form of meditation. He also talks about how gay people in the 1990s had to choreograph their every move depending on the people they were surrounded by to ensure they were protected – the dance on eggshells – and how Strictly changed his life and relationship with his long-term partner, Paul, for the good.

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