David Bowie shuts down Jonathan Ross’s inane sexuality grilling in epic throwback video
Among his many, many achievements was David Bowie’s refusal to fit into anyone’s boxes – least of all Jonathan Ross’s.
Saturday (8 January) would have been David Bowie’s 75th birthday, an occasion that’s being celebrated with the standalone release of a “lost” album, Toy, and a season of films at the BFI.
The iconoclastic musician sadly died two days after his 69th birthday, on 10 January, 2016, but his legacy remains alive as ever.
Bowie was a lifeline for many LGBT+ people. The godfather of glam-pop subverted gendered expectation with his androgynous persona and freely experimented with fluidity in his music and fashion.
Throughout his life, he fought against those who sought to squeeze him into boxes
As much as Bowie labelled himself gay and later bisexual, he later called this declaration “the biggest mistake I ever made”.
So, when British TV presenter Jonathan Ross attempted to pressure him into discussing his sexuality, he clapped back. Hard.
Jonathan Ross repeatedly tried to get David Bowie to define his sexuality. He failed
When David Bowie appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross show in 2002, conversation quickly turned to the singer’s personal life.
Ross asked him whether he “minds” talking about his sexuality. “Sorry, why?” Bowie flippantly hit back.
“What’s the deal,” Ross said, “you were gay for a while, then you were not gay, but were you bisexual, were you pansexual, were you try-sexual?
“Because I thought being gay was like being in the Foreign Legion – once you joined, I didn’t think you were allowed back.”
Bowie cracked a weary smile as Ross persevered, asking whether he had relationships with men: “Not if I could help it,” Bowie replied, sarcastically.
“I was incredibly promiscuous, and I think we’ll leave it at that,” he added, joking: “Why would I go into [my dating history] when I could make a fortune by writing a book about it?”
When Ross clunkily asked if he himself should try out “the man-love”, Bowie hit back: “Such a serious and life-challenging and changing question.
“The answer that I have for you would probably create such turmoil in your soul that I’m not sure you could actually withstand it or, in fact, last the rest of the show, so I’m quite happy politely and reluctantly not answer that question.”
And that’s why David Bowie will forever live in our hearts.