Strictly Come Dancing's John Whaite offered drastic career change after appearing on BBC1 show

HE triumphed on the Great British Bake Off thanks to a few PAUL HOLLYWOOD handshakes – now John Whaite could win a place in the West End thanks to Strictly.

The cake-maker turned dancefloor star has received a string of offers to go on stage after dazzling directors with his moves on the BBC1 dance contest.

He’ll need them more than ever when Strictly’s Musical Week kicks off this Saturday, with all the couples performing to show tunes.

But John now has an extra reason to dazzle.

A TV insider said: “It’s not just his moves on Strictly that have caught the attention of directors, it’s also the charisma and confidence he’s shown as he finds himself in the spotlight.

“Being in the show’s first same-sex partnership with Johannes Radebe could have been an intimidating prospect, but far from being a shrinking violet he’s been a shining star.

“Plus he’s been posting videos where he’s singing and playing the guitar, making him a ‘triple threat’ in the West End.”

John says he’d love to star in Rent, adding: “It’s my favourite musical because it’s about liberation, about not going with the tide, living a bohemian lifestyle and not letting people walk all over you. Ultimately, it’s about love, no matter who or what you are.”

John and Johannes will be doing some seriously “dirty dancing” on Saturday, though it’s nothing to do with the musical of the same name.

They’ll be dressing as chimney sweeps to perform a routine made famous by Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.

John, who won the third series of Bake Off in 2012, is now one of the favourites to take home the coveted glitterball trophy.

After treading the dancefloor, it looks like he could soon be treading the boards.


THROUGH her role on Strictly she has fearlessly helped to tackle assumptions about deaf people.

And Rose Ayling-Ellis's courage owed much to growing up watching the Disney animated musical Mulan, which is based on a Chinese folk story about a brave young girl.

For years Rose assumed that the central character was fiercely independent too – so she was disappointed to learn that all her actions are done for the sake of a man.
Rose said: “When I was little I used to watch it with no subtitles, and I understood the storyline in a completely different way to what actually happens.

“When I watched it recently with the subtitles I was disappointed – my version was much better.”

It’s safe to say EastEnders star Rose won’t be playing Mulan in Musicals Week.


MUSICALS Week is now a Strictly institution on a par with its Halloween special.

Producers have once more dipped into the pantheon of top shows which include the greatest songbooks of the West End and Broadway.

Here’s what the celebs and their partners will perform on Saturday, and the classic tunes that have been chosen.

AJ & Kai – Waltz Edelweiss (Sound Of Music)

Rose & Giovanni – Quickstep Love Is An Open Door (Frozen)

Tilly & Nikita – Couple’s Choice Revolting Children (Matilda)

Dan & Nadiya – Charleston Good Morning (Singin’ In The Rain)

John & Johannes – Viennese Waltz Chim Chim Cher-ee (Mary Poppins)

Rhys & Nancy – Jive Footloose (Footloose)

Tom & Amy – Couple’s Choice On My Own (Les Miserables)


STRICTLY always goes all in for Musicals Week – and that includes the special guest producers have signed up to perform on Sunday night’s results show.

They’ll be playing host to Max Harwood – who plays the central character of Jamie New in Netflix’s film version of There’s Something About Jamie.

The movie is an adaptation of the musical, which tells the story of a teenager from Sheffield who wants to be a drag queen.

Actor and singer Max will perform one of the West End show’s best-known numbers, Coming Out Of The Darkness.

Max will be backed by pop band The Feeling whose lead singer, Dan Gillespie Sells, wrote There’s Something About Jamie with Tom MacRae.

Bet there won’t be a dry eye in the house.


THE lovely Luba Mushtuk may not have a celebrity partner this year, but this weekend she’ll get a stand-out role on the show.

The Russian dancer will appear in a special routine performed by all the pros where they appear as characters from different musicals.

And Luba is going green to play Elphaba, the witch from West End Wizard Of Oz prequel, Wicked! We’ve mocked her up as the famous sorcerer here.

Giovanni Pernice, meanwhile, will appear as the MC from saucy musical Cabaret.

The racy routine sees the dancers transported to Berlin’s outrageous KitKatClub – complete with Oti Mabuse channelling Sally Bowles in fishnets.

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