Choirmaster Gareth Malone who led Army Wives to No 1 brands gay rumours ‘juvenile’
TV CHOIRMASTER Gareth Malone has branded rumours that he is gay "juvenile", saying that life in the limelight is like returning to the school playground.
The Military Wives star, who is married and has a daughter, said he was almost used to the assumptions about his sexuality.
But he told the Radio Times: "It was slightly disappointing to find that after leaving school and leaving all that behind me from the age of about 15 to 30, and 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."
Malone told the magazine: "I don't know what it is. It's almost that any display of emotion, crying ..., heart, feeling ..."
He said: "I've sort of got used to it. I suppose if I took the time to really think about it, I'd like to say 'It's my business and I'm married for a start', but not really. Really, that's one demon I've exorcised."
The star, whose Military Wives choir beat the X Factor single to the Christmas Number One, said he had often heard comments such as "It's a bit gay" and "Singing makes you gay!" from men who were reluctant to join choirs.
He said that, with hindsight, he should have hit his bullies to stop them teasing him in his school days.
"It's ugly and as an adult you don't always see it - it is very under the radar. It can be a look, it can be a sound, it can be a breath," he said of childhood bullying.
"The key is to give people the tools to deal with it themselves, which is how I ended up getting through it - find your own strength in something, which for me was in music and the arts.
"But it is just ghastly - you have those moments where you don't want to get up and go to school.
"I was always on the edge of exploding into violence - I definitely have a temper - but I never did because I always somehow didn't want to lose my dignity.
It never quite got to 'I'm just going to lamp them', but looking back I kind of wish I had because it would have solved it.
"I am not endorsing violence, but maybe it would have been better to just have a bit of a scrap in the playground," the broadcaster, whose Military Wives choir will be performing at the Diamond Jubilee Concert, said.