Strictly's John Whaite celebrates marriage bliss in the Big Apple

Virgin Radio

3 Feb 2024, 11:58

Credit: Rex

Celebrity chef and dancer ties the knot with long-time partner in a heartwarming ceremony.

In a delightful Instagram announcement, John Whaite, known for his appearances on Strictly Come Dancing and the Great British Bake Off, revealed that he has officially tied the knot with his partner of 15 years, Paul Atkins, in a charming New York ceremony.

Whaite shared the joyous news on Instagram, posting a series of black and white photos capturing the couple's special day.

His caption exuded happiness, stating: "Our big day in the Big Apple. Mr & Mr."

Adding a touch of profundity, Whaite included a quote from Justice Anthony Kennedy's 2015 Supreme Court ruling that recognised same-sex marriage across all 50 states in the US.

The quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of marriage, emphasising love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love," the quote reads.

It goes on to express that in marriage, two individuals become something greater than they were before, underscoring the enduring nature of love and the quest for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.

He continued: "In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death.

"It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfilment for themselves.

"Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilisation's oldest institutions.

"They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

John Whaite made history as part of Strictly's first male same-sex dance partnership, and his relationship with Paul Atkins has stood the test of time, lasting 15 years.

Last August, Whaite opened up about his experience on Strictly and candidly discussed falling in love with his dance partner, Johannes Radebe.

"I fell in love with him. I can't speak for him – because I'm not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there." Whaite shared.

He acknowledged the challenges this posed to his relationship with Atkins but expressed gratitude for his partner's unwavering support over the years.

Choosing openness and honesty, Whaite communicated his feelings for Radebe to Atkins, leading to a period of reflection for the couple.

Despite the difficulties, Whaite emphasised the profound connection he shares with Atkins, stating: "I look at Paul and what he's put up with over the years and how he's nurtured me and stood by me, and who would throw that away? I couldn't."

With their love enduring and thriving, John Whaite and Paul Atkins have embarked on a new chapter of their journey, celebrating their union in the enchanting backdrop of New York City.

The heartwarming announcement was met with warm wishes from fans and followers, celebrating the couple's love and commitment.

Strictly Come Dancing will return later this year on BBC One, while spin-off Strictly: It Takes Two airs on weeknights on BBC Two. Both shows are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Tickets for Strictly's 2024 live arena tour are available now.