Former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite had been away from his family while competing on Strictly Come Dancing to prevent any Covid outbreaks on the hit BBC show
The former Great British Bake Off winner hadn’t spent any time with his family while competing on the hit BBC One show for the duration of the dancing competition.
Partnered with professional dancer Johannes Radebe, John reached the glitzy final of Strictly last month but lost out on the glitterball trophy to EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis, who was crowned winner with pro dancer Giovanni Pernice.
John was cheered on by his fiancé Paul Atkins, who was seated in the audience as his partner performed impressive routines week after week, as well as friend and co-star Steph McGovern.
The 32-year-old paid tribute to his sisters during an emotional video during the Strictly final, in which he called them ‘lionesses’ for their unwavering support over the years.
And he finally reunited with his beloved siblings Victoria and Jane, as well as his parents, for a long-awaited family meal.
“Lovely meal out with my parents and sisters last night. First time we’ve been together since before Strictly,” John captioned the snap on his Instagram Stories.
In the run up to his final performance with partner Johannes, the baker discussed his relationship with his family, and thanked his fiercely protective sisters for helping him through a difficult stage in his life.
“I grew up on a farm just outside of Wigan in Lancashire. In the morning I would get up, feed the calves and then go to school. I’m very grateful for the upbringing that I’ve had,” he began.
“My family first learned that I was gay when I was about 14, 15. I told a teacher at school in confidence, and the teacher told my family, which I wasn’t ready for,” he told viewers.
John tearfully continued: “I remember my sister said to me, ‘We love you, you’re our brother and we love you no matter what you are.’”
He recalled Victoria and Jane rushing to his defence when he was being cruelly taunted at school because of his sexuality.
“When I was younger I was bullied quite a bit at school for being quite camp, and my sisters did not put up with that. To have them fighting my corner… that counterbalanced every single word of hate,” a visibly emotional John added.