BBC presenter Colin Jackson comes out as gay after denying sexuality nine years ago
BBC presenter and former Olympian Colin Jackson has come out as gay nine years after he denied it.
The former athlete was embroiled in a kiss and tell story in 2008.
A gay airline steward told the News of the World about their “secret affair”.
Jackson denied the story but it spurred him to come out to his parents and other close family members.
At the time, Jackson denied that he was gay publicly and said that he did not believe there was a stigma against gay athletes.
“It’s the 21st century. I don’t think anybody thinks about that anymore. There might have been a stigma in years gone by,” he told the voice in 2008.
The star has now come out publicly in an interview on the Swedish programme Rainbow Heroes.
In the segment, Jackson talks to other LGBT athletes from Sweden including high-jumper Kajsa Bergqvist and long-jumper Peter Häggström.
He explained that he did not come out before because he did not want his sexuality to be “sensationalised”.
He said: “The way you asked me, it was a whole storytelling kind of thing and you were just interested in the way it affected me sports-wise, emotionally-wise and my preparation.”
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Speaking about his decision to tell his parents after the News of the World story, Jackson explained that he was relieved.
“I was waiting for them in the kitchen. They walked in and they sat down.
“My mother could see my face and I was quite distraught.
“It didn’t faze them at all.
“I just realised, I’ve got the best parents,” he added.