The playwright Alan Bennett who is in a civil partnership has said that he does not understand “what all the fuss was about over gay marriage.” He has also revealed further details of being “touch up” by an elderly man as child.

Mr Bennet told Radio Times: “I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about over gay marriage.”

“I haven’t met anyone who cared one way or the other. Civil partnership mattered but I really couldn’t understand why the far right-wing Conservatives were making so much fuss. It doesn’t threaten marriage. The whole thing seemed to me a storm in a teacup.”

The 78-year-old author of The History Boys also gave the magazines further details about how he was “interfered” with by a male customer while he worked at a Leeds cinema as a schoolboy.

“When I was young, 10 or 12, one often found one’s legs were touched up by old gentlemen, in a mild sort of way.

“It never got beyond that. I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, here we go again’. But it didn’t bother me.

“I knew it was wrong, but I knew I shouldn’t say anything about it because I knew they would get into trouble.” He added :”But the notion that one would be scarred for life…”