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Johannes Radebe reveals secret Duchess Sophie told him - and it'll surprise you

The professional dancer first met the royal in May 2022

Split image of Johannes Radebe and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh
Megan Bull
TV Writer
Updated: 11 April 2024
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Johannes Radebe has become well acquainted with the Royal Family. Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show this week, the professional dancer – who has been invited to Buckingham Palace on several occasions – recalled a surprising conversation with one member in particular. 

During The Jonathan Ross Show, Johannes Radebe explained that Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh would love to appear on Strictly © ITV
During The Jonathan Ross Show, Johannes Radebe explained that Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh would love to appear on Strictly

"Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. She would love the opportunity to [compete in Strictly Come Dancing] but she can't obviously," revealed Johannes. "She has personally told me this."

Described as an "avid fan" of the show by judge Shirley Ballas, Sophie lived up to that moniker in 2018, after she and her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, were spotted cheering in the crowds. 

The Duchess of Edinburgh wearing a white dress and smiling at Hampton Court Flower Show© Getty
The royal is a big fan of the show

Reflecting on the royal visit, presenter Tess Daly told HELLO!: "Lady Louise was celebrating turning 15 and she said it was a treat to come and visit the show. She's a big fan, herself and her mother."

While she's never competed on Strictly herself, Sophie has danced at Blackpool Tower, which features in the series each year. After Buckingham Palace posted a video of the mum-of-two dancing the Waltz, the royal was lauded as a natural. 

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Speaking exclusively to HELLO! in September 2023, Johannes opened up about his first meeting with the Duchess. Invited by Prince Edward to Buckingham Palace, in May 2022 the 36-year-old was asked to deliver a keynote speech to the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award winners about pursuing their dreams.

"Prince Edward welcomed me, swooping over from across the room to tell me: 'My wife will go mad when she learns you're here,'" he began. "Then Sophie [the Duchess] bounced over to have a full-on chat. When I heard ministers talking about the show, too, it hit me: I'm part of this country's story now."

Johannes – who appeared on Jonathan Ross to promote his tour, House of Jojo – was quizzed about his future on Strictly too. Asked if he'll return for series 22, the fan favourite replied: "I'm still waiting for that phone call. Fingers crossed. Jonathan, everybody wants this job. It is great to be a part of it because there are people waiting in the wings to snatch the job."

"It's terrifying I always think to myself, as the celebrities walking in, it's terrifying," he said of coaching celebrities. "For me personally, I always think 'Give this person the best experience of their life' Because they only get to do this once, I come back. That's always my main focus. I want to get my celebrities to fall in love with the artform of ballroom dancing because that's what I'm about."

The Jonathan Ross Shows airs on Saturday at 22.05PM on ITV1 and ITVX

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