Duncan James, of boy band Blue has come out as bisexual as the band prepares for a comeback tour. The singer told tabloid the News of the World that he has had sexual relationships with men as well as women and that he is not ashamed to be coming out of the closet.

James found fame with Blue in the early 2000s and has been linked to a string of celebrity females including former Spice Girl Halliwell, it girl Tara Palmer Tomkinson and ex-EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon. He has a child with ex-girl friend Claire Granger.

He told the newspaper: “I’m bisexual. I’ve been in loving relationships with men as well as women – and I’m not ashamed. Even though I fancy men, I still fancy WOMEN too.”

As the band prepares for a reunion tour, he told the newspaper that he was fed up of having to hide his sexuality: “Am I gay? Am I straight? Am I bi? That’s why I was so frightened about talking. I know who I am and I’m proud of who I am. I don’t want to hide any more.

“I don’t feel I should launch a big comeback with Blue hiding this – I don’t want to go back to the time in the band when I felt I had to keep certain things quiet. I want to be OUT and say I’ve had relationships with men as well as women.

He told his Catholic mother that he was bisexual on a trip to Los Angeles, he told the News of the World :”One night towards the end of the trip, I knocked on my mum’s door before she went to bed. I was looking down and avoiding her eyes. I said, ‘I need to talk to you’.

“She said, ‘Oh my God, what’s wrong, are you all right?’

“I responded, ‘I need to tell you something. I’ve been in a relationship with a guy and I’m really confused about it. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for a couple of years.’

“She hugged me and couldn’t believe it. She said, ‘I thought you were going to tell me you were dying or something. Hundreds of people have had things with guys as well as girls. I love you, that doesn’t matter to me.’

He says that his band mates are fine with his sexuality: “All of the boys accepted it. We were perceived as lads who went around and slept with women but on the inside we had a lot of love for each other. We always hugged and kissed each other.

He says his first relationship with a man was in 2001, at the height of Blue’s fame: “I met a guy. He was my friend at first but we took the friendship to the next level.

“Up until that point I’d never had those feelings towards a guy before. But this person came into my life and put a spanner in the works. I definitely loved him. It was my first experience like that.

“I never believed I could have those feelings for a guy. It had been so closed to me being a strict Catholic.”

Revealingly, the Duncan James says he felt under pressure to conform with typical boy band stereotypes: “”When you’re a young band trying to be successful, there’s a lot of pressure on you to be clean-cut and accessible to your female fans. It might sound greedy but I genuinely was enjoying having women throwing themselves at us.

“Yes, I was labelled a womaniser and yes, I did sleep with a lot of women. But there were tell-tale signs I was that way inclined. I’ve always been very theatrical and loved being on stage.

“I was so confused about everything. Blue were becoming more and more successful. I felt frightened. I bottled it in and didn’t tell anyone. It was almost like it didn’t happen.

“I was having relationships with girls as well. This was a secret on the side. In hindsight, that wasn’t the way to deal with it. It’s not nice to treat people in that way.”

He says that he considered coming out publicly as bisexual as long as five years ago. But in 2004, ex-girlfriend revealed she was pregnant with his child. He told her he was bisexual then and he says she said:” ‘I love you for who you are. Regardless of what your sexual feelings are, I know you would be a great dad. Bringing up our daughter is the most important thing.”

The singer says he had fears that his daughter would be teased at school for having a bisexual father.

He adamantly told the News of the World that he is still attracted to women: “I’m sure a lot of gay people would be put off by the thought of having sex with a woman. It’s not like that for me. I still find women attractive.

“In a man or a woman I look for someone who is sensitive and caring. I like someone who has nice features too.

“I don’t feel it’s harder to be with a guy. This has been my life now for a long time. It’s not a big deal to me any more. But I’ve slept with way more women than men.

“I can still look at women now and think they’re sexy. I love being intimate with a woman, I love breasts. I do think girls can be a lot more emotional.

“I know most gay guys think, ‘Bi Now, Gay Later’ and maybe one day the thought of being with a woman won’t work for me.

Fellow boy band star, Stephen Gately, of Boyzone came out as gay in 1999 and entered into a civil partnership in 2006.

Click here for the full interview with the News of the World