New Strictly contestant John Whaite’s battles with sexsomnia, booze and depression that saw him quit social mediaAugust 5, 2021
STRICTLY Come Dancing contestant John Whaite quit social media at the height of his battles with sexsomnia, booze and depression.
The former Bake Off winner – who has joined the dance competition's 2021 line-up – revealed he suffered from a disorder that caused him to fondle his partner while fully asleep.
Speaking on Steph's Packed Lunch in 2020, after hosting a cooking segment, the 33-year-old said sexsomania is a condition much like having night terrors or sleep walking.
John said: "You have night terrors, I have night pleasures, because I have sexsomnia.
"In the night, I’ll be fast asleep… My boyfriend wakes up and I’ll be fondling him.
"He’s having the time of his life and I’m fast asleep."
Stress, lack of sleep and drink and drugs can all trigger episodes in sufferers, who often already sleep talk or walk.
Broadcaster Steph McGovern questioned if John had sought medical advice, but the baking champ said a doctor dismissed it as a made up condition.
He explained: “When I lived in London I went to the doctors and he just said that’s not a thing.
"But I went on doctor website and it’s real thing. It was in Desperate Housewives, Eva (Longoria's character) had it!”
John previously told how his rise to stardom had not been an easy one and winning Great British Bake Off in 2012 had knocked him off a "steady path".
John told The Telegraph in 2019: "What I failed to remember was that age-old mantra: be careful what you wish for.
"Because as the next batch of Bake Off stars emerged, my appeal shrank.
"Year on year, the working days became fewer and financial offers were smaller."
Addicted to the razzle dazzle…
He added: "Addiction to the razzle dazzle came naturally to the youthful me.
"I drank more than I should have and posted unwisely on Instagram and Twitter. If I knew then what I knew now, would I do it all again? Absolutely. But I’d approach it so differently."
The celeb quit social media in October that year telling fans he was seriously depressed.
The star baker wrote on Twitter in October 2019: "You know you’re going through a serious bout of depression when you eat a full box of Curiously Cinnamon cereal and cry at a Balsam Hill artificial Xmas tree advert… I'm signing off."
Two months prior, he had launched an appeal on Twitter to help find his "severely depressed" sister, after she went missing in Portugal for two days.
He later updated fans saying she had been found and was suffering from a hormonal-based illness known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
He said: "Sister is home and safe and so it’s now business as usual. Thanks again for all your love and help. If you want more info on PMDD see @viciouscyclepmd."
In a follow up tweet, he wrote: "We are now going to focus on getting her home and back in good health in the privacy and protection of our family.
"My gratitude to each one of you is undying. You've helped save a sister, a daughter and a mother – thank you."
John, who has been baking since he was five, has managed to carve himself out a successful media career.
He appeared as resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine and made guest appearances on What's Cooking, This Morning, Sunday Brunch and Steph's Packed Lunch.
He has also released three cookbooks, John Whaite Bakes, John Whaite Bakes At Home and Perfect Plates In Five Ingredients.
John will make history as one half of the first all-male partnership on Strictly when the show returns later this year.
He commented on BBC Radio 2 this morning: "I'm so excited I'm actually shaking. I was born to be on that dancefloor, I think I'll have to be taken off kicking and screaming every week."
Speaking about making Strictly history, John added: "When they asked me I bit their hand off. To do that for the LGBT community is one thing, but to see two women or two men dancing is just a sign of respect … I'm excited on so many levels to be doing the first male partnership."
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