In what was a genuinely pioneering series of the BBC dance competition, John, 34, and Johannes, 36, were taken to the hearts of the public, and they finished second as Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice claimed the trophy.
While their relationship was charming from the beginning, the Great British Bake Off champion admitted over the weekend that he had other sentiments boiling beneath the surface.
He ‘came in love’ with Johannes while competing in the 2021 series of Strictly, with whom he created history as the first male-male couple.
Johannes was thought to be unmarried at the time, but he was really engaged to his partner Paul Atkins.
Because of his feelings for Johannes, the couple, who had been together for more than 15 years, had to spend some time apart.
Fortunately, they appear to be back on track, as a family source revealed that, despite their hiccup, John and graphic designer Paul are still together.
When approached by MailOnline, Peter Atkins, 71, nodded his head when asked if John and Paul were still engaged to be married.
Speaking at the family’s semi-detached home in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, Peter said of the split: ‘It was only very brief.’
‘It was nothing, really,’ he insisted.
In his first disclosure, baker John admitted to nearly succumbing to the infamous Strictly curse after spending all day, every day with his South African pro.
John said: ‘I fell in love with him. I can’t speak for him – because I’m not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there.
He continued: ‘So yes, I fell in love with Johannes. I still love Johannes. Of course I do.’
The TV host told Paul about his emotions for Johannes, and they both decided to give each other some space.
John added to The Times: ‘I look at Paul and what he’s put up with over the years and how he’s nurtured me and stood by me, and who would throw that away? I couldn’t.’
The Steph’s Packed Lunch chef stated that he still interacts with Johannes on occasion but would discontinue communication if things become ‘tricky’ for Paul.
While Strictly fave Johannes hasn’t publicly replied to John’s revelation, he has made no secret of his adoration for him throughout their friendship.
Prior to last year’s series, the choreographer wrote a touching homage on social media.
‘Now that Strictly rehearsals have started, I’ve been thinking back to last year when I had the pleasure of meeting @john_whaite’, he wrote last August.
‘I can’t believe it’s been a year since John came into my life and what a fabulous and truly special Strictly journey we had.
‘There were moments during the show which took my breath away, including the overwhelming support we received.’
He went on to thank fans for all the ‘kind comments’ and for voting for the pair throughout the competition, commenting: ‘It means so so much.’
Strictly Come Dancing returns to BBC One and iPlayer later this year.
Source My Celebrity Life.