An actress who starred in the BBC One sitcom The Wright Way and played a lesbian character in the show has strenuously denied making homophobic comments on Twitter and says her account was hacked.
On Tuesday evening, Joanne Matthews told PinkNews.co.uk: “I don’t know what happened with my Twitter account. I was hacked. I used the internet at an internet cafe and someone must have gone onto my account from me not logging off properly.
“I played a lesbian in a TV show. There’s no way I’m homophobic. I find it deeply upsetting. I deleted the account as I didn’t know what else to do.”
Matthews’ former boyfriend is former E17 singer Brian Harvey. In 2005, Harvey nearly died after being run over by his own Mercedes. He had leaned out of the driver’s door to be sick because he had eaten three large jacket potatoes.
But he suddenly found himself under the wheels of the car.
Yesterday, PinkNews reader Lee Dalgleish tweeted about the story because he had been talking about it at work.
“Basically whilst at work we had Christmas songs playing”, he said. “Eventually East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ came on. This lead to me remembering the Brian Harvey story from a few years ago where he ate three jacket potatoes then managed to run himself over.
“We had a short discussion about it in the office and how bizarre the story was. Not your usual headline in a paper. I tweeted asking if anyone else remembered the time Brian Harvey ate load of potatoes then ran himself over? I added that it was a real WTF kind of story.”
But the tweet did not go down well with all.
The Twitter account of Joanne Matthews responded by calling him a “batty man”. Subsequent tweets referred to Mr Dalgleish’s profile photograph of himself and his boyfriend.
When PinkNews tweeted the actress for comment on Tuesday afternoon, she deleted her entire account.
After contacting her agent, Matthews apologised to PinkNews for the incident but said her account “had been hacked”.
“None of those views are mine, I am not homophobic whatsoever. I know it sounds clichéd but I have got lots of gay friends… I played a lesbian in a TV show it’s not something I would do.”
When asked to comment, a BBC spokesperson said to PinkNews.co.uk: “We do not comment on individuals’ personal twitter accounts.”
Earlier this year, Matthews appeared in the BBC One sitcom The Wright Way as a plumber. She played the lesbian daughter of the lead character Gerald Wright, played by actor David Haig. The comedy, written by Ben Elton, was based on a health and safety manager, his staff, and his family. Widely panned by the critics, it was cancelled after only one series.