Strictly’s Johannes Radebe nearly quit Annabel Croft partnership

Johannes Radebe has admitted that he almost didn’t continue his partnership with Annabel Croft.

The Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer and the former tennis champion were partnered up together during last year’s series. The pair narrowly missed out on a place in the hit BBC final.

During the series, Johannes was praised for helping Annabel through her grief, as her late husband Mel passed away just four months before Strictly began. However, Johannes has now revealed that he was going through his own loss at the time.

Speaking on the Table Manners podcast with Jessie Ware and Lennie Ware, the 36-year-old confessed that he was hesitant to take part in Strictly last year.

“When they said I was dancing with her, I was like, ‘What are they trying to achieve?’ And I say that because two weeks before I started, I buried my cousin who committed suicide. So honestly, I didn’t feel like anything. I wasn’t excited as I normally would be,” he explained.

Recalling his trip home to South Africa, Johannes continued: "I could have stayed out there for longer but after we buried him I had to fly back [to the UK] and do my audiobook. That was hard, and when Strictly started, I was just like, okay, just felt like I was going through the motions."

“So, you can imagine that when they said, ‘You have a partner’, I was like, ‘Oh, okay great’. I just really wanted to deal with it, but you never allow the time to deal with whatever it is you’re going through in your life,” he noted.

“I just said to myself, ‘They’re reaching, they really are’. I remember calling my agent. I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s trying to happen. Maybe we should say that I shouldn’t get a partner, because I just really need some time out,’” he revealed.

However, Johannes has since confirmed that he is glad he continued with Annabel. 

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh, Johannes, you helped Annabel’. No, Annabel helped me,” he praised.