Strictly star John Whaite hits back at fan complaint over shirtless selfie

John Whaite talks about the Strictly curse. (Getty)

Strictly Come Dancing star John Whaite has hit back after a fan complained about a recent shirtless photo the TV personality shared on social media.

Last week, Whaite, who shot to fame by winning the third season of The Great British Bake Off in 2012, took to Instagram to hit back at criticism he received for posting a photo of himself shirtless in the gym. 

The Instagrm story, as shared by Out magazine, shared the original image of Whaite posing, with overlaid text from a fan which stated “This is why I stopped following you.” 

In a public reply, Whaite revealed that he had initially “quickly deleted” the picture, after “feeling ashamed for being a show off/self-indulgent”.

“Then I realised overnight that this person is only willing to accept a version of me that they deem suitable”, he continued.

“Well, I’m done offering versions of myself to please other people”.

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John Whaite received a complaint from a fan following posting a topless gym photo on Instagram.
John Whaite received a complaint from a fan following posting a topless photo. (John Whaite/Instagram)

The star continued: “I’m a proud baker, a proud businessman, a proud weightlifter, a proud amateur guitarist, a proud husband, a proud son, a proud uncle. I am many different things to many people, but I’ll never be one single thing.” 

Whaite went on to quote his mum’s advice that you have to accept people for “all they are”, and concluded the post by hoping the commenter wasn’t hit by the door on his way out. 

Whaite finished runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021, after being part of the competition’s first male same-sex pairing with professional dancer Johannes Radebe. The partnership forced him to stand up to homophobic trolls who objected to the coupling.

In 2023, Whaite described his relief at being open about his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis, and last month announced his marriage to long-term partner, graphic designer Paul Atkins. 

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