Gay rugby star Keegan Hirst accused of having a boyfriend despite appearing on First Dates
Britain’s first out gay Rugby League player has been accused of having a boyfriend despite going on Channel 4’s Celebrity First Dates.
On a special edition of popular Channel 4 show First Dates, celebrities attempt to find their perfect match on blind dates, and Hirst was among the line up, appearing on the show on Friday.
The rugby player made history when he came out as the first gay British rugby league player, following years of depression.
But he has been accused of his date, social media personality Paddy White, of having a boyfriend.
White on the show asked Hirst if he “wanted any Irish in him” and said that “spooning leads to forking”.
In a release, White said Hirst “was silent the entire time and never asked me a single question. I had heard rumours he had a boyfriend. I felt unbearably awkward and thought to myself I’m going to have to make the best out of this bad situation.”
White was tweeted by Hirst’s ex-wife after the show, who wrote: “aww, try to date lads without boyfriends next time they may be more interesting!”
White adds: “I tried my hardest to make something of nothing, but there was clearly a level of honesty missing in this match up. It’s not easy reading the mean comments from Keegan fans like I am a ‘shame to the gay community’, ‘shallow’ and ‘desperate’. I just wanted to enjoy the once in a lifetime experience.”
Hirst also became the first Rugby League player to take to the pitch as an out gay man, receiving an overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans and fellow players alike.
“At first I couldn’t even say ‘I’m gay’ in my head, let alone out loud,” he said at the time.
“Now I feel like I’m letting out a long breath that I’ve held in for a long time.”
Before the show, it was announced that the Batley Bulldogs captain would go on a date with personal trainer = White – a self-confessed “ex-party boy” who admits to taking at least 50 selfies a day and tweeting during sex.
“I was eager to make a good impression on Keegan and tried to impress him with my honesty and my humour, maybe I went just a little too far,” White said in advance of the show going to air.
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Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney recently had her appearance on the show axed, because the man she was matched with was “uncomfortable” that she is trans.
A source close to Kellie said: “The man seemed very taken aback during the date and it was clear he wasn’t very happy afterwards.”
Channel 4 confirmed that the man was “open to being paired with a transgender person”.
“Kellie’s date told the production team he was open to being paired with a transgender person, however after the date ended he felt uncomfortable about appearing on the celebrity episode,” a spokesperson said.
Catch Celebrity First Dates this Friday (July 22) on Channel 4 at 9pm.