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Dancing on eggshells


Well-known as the third-series winner of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and runner up of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ in 2021 with his same-sex dancing partner Johannes Radebe, John Whaite’s personal story is a complicated narrative that embraces coming out, his ongoing body dysmorphia and bulimia as well as mental health challenges and a changing relationship with his mother, particularly after the break-up of his parents’ marriage. Each chapter takes an element of food or culture and loops it back to John’s northern upbringing above a fish and chip shop which instilled a strong a work ethic, as well as using baking as a form of meditation.

In stock


‘We come for the glitter, but instead we get the grit, in stories told with insight, tenderness and joy.’ – Russell T Davies

With a foreword by Steph McGovern

‘I never thought I’d write a memoir. I never thought I’d do a lot of the things I have done in my thirty-four years, but life has a wonderful way of surprising us.’

Well-known as the winner of the third series of The Great British Bake Off and runner up of Strictly Come Dancing with his same-sex dance partner Johannes Radebe, John Whaite’s personal story is a complicated narrative of contradictions, highs and lows, told with tenderness, joy, insight and wit, but also unflinching honesty.

A shy little boy from rural Lancashire, who was sacred to sleep alone and danced a little ‘too gay’ at family weddings, he was also an unruly teen who shaved a checkerboard pattern into his hair and refused to conform.

From childhood his life has revolved around food – his parents owned a fish and chip shop where John worked in the back peeling potatoes – but for long periods he has been haunted by bulimia and body dysmorphia and not a day goes by when he doesn’t worry about what or how much he eats.

He achieved TV fame but then seemingly wilfully chose to self-destruct, before finding the strength to pull back when he woke up in a car with half a kebab at his feet and chilli sauce on his shoes.

Through it all, his essential optimism has meant that he has chosen to take every step back as a chance to reassess and begin again, finally arriving at the realisation that external validation and fulfilment is transient – a distraction from the sometimes painful pilgrimage we make as we gain wisdom from our experiences.

Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 23.6 × 15.6 × 3.2 cm






xii, 292




791.45028092 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K