Gareth Malone, star of hit British TV show The Choir, has called rumors that he is gay ‘juvenile’.
The married father-of-one bemoaned the ongoing speculation over his sexuality in an interview with Radio Times magazine and compared life in the limelight with going back to school.
He said: ‘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, whose Military Wives choir beat The X Factor to the Christmas number one spot in the UK charts last year, says he wishes he had fought back against bullies at school.
Speaking about his experience of being bullied as a child, he said: ‘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.’