Afternoon Radio 1 host Scott Mills has dismissed suggestions that the station’s departing breakfast show presenter, Chris Moyles, has anti-gay beliefs.

In an interview with Now magazine, the gay DJ said he was initially: “quite scared and overwhelmed by him”.

Asked if he thought Moyles had laughed at his sexuality, he added: “I didn’t, but only because I knew him.

“He can come across as homophobic, but it’s because he’s so not, that he thinks it’s okay to say some things. People can take it the wrong way.”

Mills added: “I dreaded hosting the show before or after him because of what he was going to say. So I went in one day and said to him, ‘What’s your problem?’

“When I confronted him he was an absolute puppy dog. It’s all an act for on air. He stopped after that,” said Mills.

In August, Radio 1 evening presenter Nick Grimshaw, who is taking over from Moyles on the breakfast show later this month, confirmed in an interview with the Guardian that he is indeed gay.

He also admitted that he would “really like” to go out with US R&B singer Frank Ocean.

Mills spoke of his regret to Now at being overlooked for the top job and said the breakfast show gig would have gone to him if Moyles “had left it sooner”.

Moyles was previously named “Bully of the Year” by Stonewall in 2006.