Strictly’s Johannes on how he overcame homophobic bullying during childhood

Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe opened up on Loose Women about how he overcame homophobic bullying during his childhood in South Africa.

The professional dancer wowed fans as he performed an epic routine in heeled boots last weekend, while he and celebrity dance partner Catherine Tyldesley also made it through another week.

Former Coronation Street star Catherine and Johannes appeared on Loose Women on Thursday to discuss their training ahead of Halloween Week, while also confirming a sickness bug had affected several Strictly stars.

Johannes was also asked about his "sassy" performance, with panelist Jane Moore confessing she loved it as they played a clip on the show.

It's then that Jane asked Johannes about his recent confession in an interview that he faced homophobic bullying as a child, with his love of dance also leading to him being targeted.

He credited his dancing and the love from his mother for getting him through, and revealed how he overcame the bullying to go on to huge success.

After appearing on the South African version of Strictly, he joined the UK version in 2018.

He said: "I think that any boy who tries to dance or does any form of what I do, will always get some kind of criticism or rejection or anything negative."

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On dealing with it, he said: "I think mama. Whatever things used to happen and be said to me outside home, when I walked into the yard she made sure I got all the loving, and reminded me there's nothing wrong with me and that I'm special."

On why he decided to move over to the UK version of the show, he confessed it was all down to the huge scale of the series compared to the South African version.

He joked: "The British people have got more munch, munch means money, and honestly it's a bigger production. The production there is incredible and Strictly here is the mother ship of all the shows.

"It's beautiful to be a part of this one, coming back from where I come from because I mean we do it on a small scale, here it is magical."

Johannes also praised partner Catherine for allowing him to be who he wanted on the show with his routines.

The pair will perform a Cha Cha to the Steps song Scared Of The Dark, hoping to make it through another week.

Strictly Come Dancing airs Saturday at 6:35pm on BBC One, with the results show on Sunday at 7:15pm.

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