Gareth Malone ‘always knew he wasn’t gay’, despite homophobic bullying
The choirmaster has discussed being bullied at school because other children thought he was gay.
Gareth Malone has opened up about his difficult childhood and how stereotyping led to being bullied “for being gay.”
However, the BBC star – who is now married and has two children – says the experience “didn’t break” him.
“I set myself up by talking about classical music or singing something classical on day one,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I was different, I was skinny, I was rubbish at football and I liked classical music, therefore I was gay.
“It was largely homophobic bullying but I always knew I wasn’t gay, so deep down it didn’t break me,” he added.
“There is a huge pressure to follow the crowd when you are a kid and I didn’t.”
On being branded a “gay icon”, he said: “Well that’s very flattering. I’m incredibly pleased to be any kind of icon.”
However, as his TV career took off – with hit shows including current project The Naked Choir – he found himself regularly mistaken for another LGBT TV favourite.
“Every time I go on television people go on Twitter and say I look like Sue Perkins,” he revealed.
“She gets it about me. I’ve met her and we’ve had a laugh about it. I’m quite flattered really because I love Bake Off.
“If anything I’m a male version of Mary Berry.”
Malone has previously spoken out against the “juvenile rumours” that have surrounded his sexuality since he hit TV screens.
“It was disappointing to find after leaving that behind at the age of 15, then coming into television and discovering, ‘Oh right, everyone is just as juvenile as the kids at school were’.
“I am fairly flamboyant and expressive but I know plenty of gay people who are incredibly repressed and aren’t showy and don’t like Judy Garland, you know?”