Monday 26 August 2019

Sandi Toksvig dismisses rumours she wants to be London mayor

Sandi Toksvig dismissed rumours linking her to 2016's election for London mayor
Sandi Toksvig dismissed rumours linking her to 2016's election for London mayor

Sandi Toksvig has dismissed rumours linking her to next year's London mayoral election to replace Boris Johnson.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs, the Danish-born broadcaster ruled herself out as "inappropriate".

"How do these rumours get started, do you suppose? Can you imagine anybody more inappropriate to be Mayor? Oh yes, the current Mayor," she told presenter Kirsty Young.

"It is absolutely not my intention. I am helping to found a political party - the Women's Equality Party - but I do not wish to be a politician. I am too busy and it isn't my skill set," she stated.

The award-winning comedian was recently announced as the new host of BBC Two's popular quiz series QI, replacing Stephen Fry who has stepped down after 13 years.

On the BBC Radio 4 show, she opened up about coming out in the 1980s to her Danish foreign correspondent father and BBC studio manager mother.

"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.

"I didn't have a problem. Society seemed to have a problem. None of my friends didn't have a problem, my family didn't have a problem," she said.

Toksvig recalled the "frightening" aftermath of revealing her sexuality in a Sunday Times interview, in order to avoid being outed by the tabloids.

"The tabloid press went a bit crazy and whipped up a little bit of a media storm. They usually pass very quickly, but when you're in the middle of them, they're frightening," she said.

"We got quite a lot of death threats at the time. 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."

The author of numerous books and plays, she has hosted her own TV series, appeared on an array of panel shows and is also involved in charity and mentoring work.

Toksvig and wife Debbie entered into a civil partnership in 2007. They married seven years later.

"You should have a song for your partner," she stated on Desert Island Discs. The Toksvigs have an unlikely one: country and western hit What's A Guy Gotta Do by Joe Nichols.

The selection also included Barbra Streisand's Don't Rain On My Parade and Good Morning from the Hollywood musical Singin' In The Rain.

Toksvig, who has lost four stones, told host Young about the benefits.

"I would not be able to keep going at the pace that I do if I had continued at the weight that I was. I'm 57, I was beginning to get issues with my feet, possible high pressure and so on."

She added: "I feel so much better; I eat better, I sleep better, I actually enjoy exercise."

The broadcaster chose The Ashley Book Of Knots by Clifford W. Ashley for her island book. She requested "an endless supply of the Daily Mail" as her luxury item.

Newspaper, she said, is "fantastic" for clothing and "terrific" for insulation.

Toksvig added: "I'm also hopeless at celebrity culture so this would give me a chance to catch up and at some point, I'm going to need to go to the loo."

Desert Island Discs is broadcast on November 29 at 11.15am on BBC Radio 4.

PA Media

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