Former Boyzone star Stephen Gately says that he has suffered homophobic attacks in Canterbury, Kent.

The 30-year-old gay star who married his partner Andy Cowles in a civil partnership ceremony is currently staring in a stage version of the Wizard Of Oz at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.

Gately said: “Canterbury is beautiful and I loved it. When I first arrived, I thought seriously about buying a property here. I wanted to make it my home.

“But I have been abused by some teenagers and lots of people are rude to me in shops because I am gay. It’s frightening.”

A recent attack saw thugs corner him outside of the Marlowe Theatre after a performance. An off duty police officer called for backup.

A police spokesman said: “It was a frightening situation and the victim was left shaken. We are still looking for those responsible.”