Sandi Toksvig says homophobic death threats forced her into hiding

Joe Williams November 29, 2015
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The comedian says she ‘went through some very dark times.’

Sandi Toksvig has discussed the reaction she received after she came out as gay, describing the experience as “genuinely frightening”.

Sandi Toksvig says homophobic death threats forced her into hiding

The broadcaster opened up about the reaction she received during today’s episode of Desert Island Discs.

“The tabloid press went a bit crazy and whipped up a little bit of a media storm,” she told presenter Kirsty Young.

“They usually pass very quickly, but when you’re in the middle of them, they’re frightening.”

Toksvig said she was worried about the effect her announcement would have on her young family, after they were forced to go into hiding following a series of death threats.

“We got quite a lot of death threats at the time,” she said.

“And we had to go into hiding – we were in hiding for about two weeks and of course during that time, I was terrified that I had done a terrible thing to my children, I would give my life for my three children. It was truly, genuinely frightening,” she added.

“I went through some very dark times. People say, ‘When did you decide you were gay?’ and you think, ‘When did you decide you were heterosexual?’

“It’s not a decision, it’s something you gradually begin to realise about yourself.”

It was recently announced the Toksvig would be taking over as host of QI, after Stephen Fry decided to step down.

She will take the helm next year, with regular panellist Alan Davies remaining on the show.

Sandi Toksvig says homophobic death threats forced her into hiding

Earlier this year, the comedian also announced plans to launch her own political party, after quitting Radio 4’s News Quiz.

She said: “I have made jokes over and over and over again about politics and, do you know, this election I’ve had enough… and I have decided that instead of making jokes about it, I need to participate.”

“So I am involved in the founding of a new political party. It’s called the Women’s Equality Party. It is a fantastic group of women – and indeed men – who have decided that enough is enough and we need to make some changes.”

Related topics: Homophobia, lesbian, LGBT, QI, Radio 4, Sandi Toksvig

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