Strictly’s Johannes Radebe proud to be ‘game-changer’

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Strictly Come Dancing’s Johannes Radebe has said he was proud to be a “game-changer” when he took part in the show’s first individual same-sex dance.

The dancer and fellow professional Graziano di Prima made history when they performed together to Emeli Sande’s Shine on the BBC show last year.

“We applaud the BBC,” said Radebe.

“It reflects the times now and it was time that it was done,” he said of the routine.

“We are just proud to be game-changers in the game – I’m happy,” he said.

Janette Manrara, Dianne Buswell, Amy Dowden, Emma Barton, Saffron Barker, Stacey Dooley, Alex Scott, Catherine Tyldesley, Karen Hauer, Katya Jones and Luba Mushtuk (Joe Giddens/PA)

Radebe was speaking at the launch of the Strictly Live Tour, which will be hosted by 2018 winner Stacey Dooley.

Several stars from the show are taking part, including Radebe’s Strictly partner Catherine Tyldesley and reigning champion Kelvin Fletcher.

Tyldesley said it was “priceless” to be reunited with Radebe.

“I would have loved to have stayed longer but it’s just how the cookie crumbles, it’s the nature of the show, one weak dance and you are gone,” she said.

“The opportunity to get to dance with again to me is just priceless.

“And in venues like this it’s just a dream come true. When do you ever get to experience performing in an arena unless you are a rock star?”

Fletcher competed with Oti Mabuse on the programme but will be dancing with Janette Manrara on the tour.

The actor said the tour would differ from the show in that there was “a huge amount of excitement and no real real sense of jeopardy”.

Manrara said fans would be getting “whatever you get on the TV show times 10”.

CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual said after Strictly he went from training everyday to sitting on the sofa and enjoying a rest, so admitted his body was feeling it “a little bit” now he is back on the dancefloor.

Karim Zeroual and Amy Dowden (Joe Giddens/PA)

The tour will begin at the Arena Birmingham on January 16 and will visit Aberdeen, Leeds, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and Nottingham, finishing with three nights at London’s O2 Arena from February 7 to 9.