Strictly's Johannes Radebe is 'careful what he wears' to avoi being stopped by police

·3-min read

Watch: Johannes Radebe says he tries to stay inconspicuous

Strictly Come Dancing favourite Johannes Radebe has opened up about his fears of drawing attention of the police in the way he dresses.

The South African professional is currently treading the dancefloor with celebrity chef partner John Whaite on the latest series of the dancing competition.

But on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4, the discussion turned to his wariness around the police.

<em>Strictly</em> star Johannes Radebe (BBC)
Strictly star Johannes Radebe (BBC)

Discussing a news story where a woman called the police on her neighbour over fears he was “too young to own the house”, Radebe revealed assumptions around how someone looks was nothing new to him.

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He said that he tries to look “inconspicuous” to prevent drawing attention to himself by police, and said: “I’m going to stop wearing a cap and a black leather jacket. I say that because I get stopped all the time and then it’s like ‘oh ok, sorry it’s not you’."

Host Steph McGovern asked him to clarify, to which Radebe asserted he’d been stopped by police".

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Those in the studio were heard gasping in shock, as Radebe continued: “I know, I’m tall, I’m black. It’s important where you are and where you hang around and what you do.

“It’s terrible, it really is terrible. You don’t get to experience it often, like where I come from [South Africa] I don’t, that’s probably because 99 [per cent of the] population is black, I don’t know.

Johannes Radebe with dance partner John Whaite on <em>Strictly Come Dancing</em>. (BBC)
Johannes Radebe with dance partner John Whaite on Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

“You find you go to places and you travel the world and that’s always the case. It's just like I have to be careful of how I dress.”

“Yeah, that’s my reality,” he continued, later adding: “When I go out I do try and look a lot more ‘civilised’, so to speak. “It’s a reality for many people.”

Sensing the shock in the room, Rabebe joked: “Sorry to be a dampener!”

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The star is just the latest in a long-line of Black TV personalities who have spoken out about their experiences of being stopped by police in their day-to-day lives.

Back in June, ITV host Andi Peters revealed he had been followed in shops and racially profiled as a result of his colour, only for them to stand down when they realise who he is.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:01:00 on 08/09/2021 - Programme Name: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - TX: 08/09/2021 - Episode: Strictly Come Dancing 2021 - Professional Dancers (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: L-R Graziano Di Prima, Giovanni Pernice, Gorka Marquez, Cameron Lombard, Aljaz Skorjanec, Johannes Radebe, Neil Jones, Nikita Kuzmin, Kai Widdrington - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Johannes Radebe with Strictly pros. (BBC)

The 50-year-old presenter spoke out on Good Morning Britain after cricketer Michael Holding used the word "b*******s" on the show while discussing criticisms of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“What sometimes as a person of colour you go through is a load of old... And it’s just actually nice to hear someone say it on television just say it so that everyone hears it."

He went on: “What he said about being followed in shops, supermarkets, because of the colour of your skin, that really exists.

"It happens to me, I’d say enough times for me to know, ‘Oh someone thinks I’m going to nick the Wispa bar’ – I’m not, I’m just going to go and get it and pay for it like everybody else.”

Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays from 12pm on Channel 4.

Watch Johannes and John on Strictly

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