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Strictly pro breaks down detailing "emotional" struggle

johannes radebe
Strictly’s Johannes Radebe on "emotional" struggleShane Anthony Sinclair - Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing's Johannes Radebe got emotional speaking about his family and the difficult side of achieving success in the UK.

The pro dancer took part in his native South Africa's version of Strictly, then was cast in the British version in 2018. Speaking on Loose Women about his newly published memoir Jojo: Finally Home – My Story, the dancer teared up when talking about his mother, to whom the book is dedicated.

"It's emotional because great things happen in my life, but my family is never around to help celebrate it with me," he said.

johannes radebe, strictly come dancing 2022 professional dancer
BBC

Related: How to get tickets to Strictly pro Johannes Radebe's Q&A event

"I wish she was here today," she said of his mum Jacobeth. "I imagine where she is right now and she is alone."

Discussing his career, the dancer admitted feeling "seen" for the first time, saying: "I am amongst people that love what I do and that is liberating."

Radebe also touched upon having had a difficult relationship with his father and being bullied by classmates, explaining he used these things as a "driving force".

johannes radebe
John Snelling - Getty Images

Related: Johannes Radebe says Strictly Come Dancing has "turned it up" for 2023 series

He also shared his worries over other gay men around the world: "I know we have a long way to go but it is easier this side of town and on my continent there are still people who are being killed and that is the reality. That is my lived experience," he said.

"My friends still talk about things that affect us."

Strictly Come Dancing returns for its launch special on September 16 on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.


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