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Bake Off’s John Whaite opens up about recent ADHD diagnosis

John Whaite has shared how his outlook has changed following an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis earlier this summer.

The former Great British Bake Off winner, who participated in Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 with Johannes Radebe, told The Times in a new interview that his recent diagnosis “makes sense of everything”.

“It makes me realise that my reactions have perhaps sometimes been oversensitive and overreactions,” he told the publication ahead of the release of his forthcoming memoir Dancing on Eggshells.

“I don’t believe in making excuses,” he added. “It’s a case of, yes, I thought and acted that way, most likely because of how my brain is wired.”

Reflecting on his time competing on Bake Off, Whaite said he wished that he had known about his diagnosis.

“Maybe I would have been a bit less reactive, less combative and argumentative,” he said. “One day when Paul Hollywood said my puddings were bland because I had used mascarpone rather than butter, I marched across the field and was like, ‘How dare you call my puddings…’”

ADHD is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. According to the NHS, people with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse.

Elsewhere in the interview, Whaite revealed that he “fell in love” with his professional Strictly dance partner Radebe and almost fell victim to the “Strictly curse” – the idea that participating in the dance competition threatens the status of the relationship you’re in when you sign up.

“I fell in love with Radebe,” Whaite told the publication, adding: “I can’t speak for him – because I’m not allowed to, legally – but it felt like there was love there.”

Johannes Radebe and John Whaite during the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2021

(PA Media)

Whaite also discussed how he has recently embraced sobriety, calling himself “a problematic drinker” who would drink “five days out of seven”.

The baker admitted he would regularly binge drink and would stay up all night alone messaging strangers on social media.

“I don’t know if I’d class myself as an alcoholic, but I’m certainly an addictive person,” he said.

Find the full list of every celebrity competing in this year’s Strictly here.

Dancing on Eggshells: Kitchen, Ballroom and the messy inbetween by John Whaite is published by Octopus Books on 24 August.

If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, you can confidentially call the national alcohol helpline Drinkline on 0300 123 1110 or visit the NHS website here for information about the programmes available to you.

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