Singer Olly Alexander believes the complaints he received following his New Year’s Eve performance were from people uncomfortable with a “gay man being himself on stage”.
The pop star has said his appearance on the BBC received 179 complaints, protesting that his performance was “too sexual”.
Speaking to Times Radio, the 31-year-old said: “Recently I did a New Year’s Eve show for the BBC, and there was a really amazingly funny story about 179 people complaining that the show was too sexual.
“And I’ve had this in the past where, you know, I’m not doing anything remotely sexual on stage, but because of something I’m wearing, people complain that it’s not family friendly.
“And it’s just so ridiculous, so, I mean, you have to laugh.
“But you know, I can only assume this is because I’m gay. Certain people might be a bit uncomfortable with just a gay man being himself on stage, but who knows?”
The musician said he was a “target” at school for his flamboyant dress sense after Section 28 was renounced, which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality.
Alexander said: “The time I was at secondary school, gay people just didn’t really exist, in a way I think. I mean, literally because of Section 28.
“I just had a year in secondary school by the time it was removed.
i love you lorraine ! thank you and your team for having me 🥰 https://t.co/KtHXDiqEuL
— olly alexander (@alexander_olly) January 25, 2022
“But obviously, like all the staff, no-one was suddenly equipped then to kind of understand how to deal with potentially queer kids or homophobic bullying.
“So that was just really rife in my school, it was just really common to be picked on, being called gay or a poof.
“And I had long hair and wore crazy clothes and liked to wear make-up to school sometimes, I was definitely a target.”
The actor, who won critical acclaim for his performance in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, has also insisted he is not the next Doctor Who, but said he would like to do more acting.
Alexander has been among the names mentioned to replace the incumbent Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, who is stepping down from the role after taking over the Tardis in 2017 as the first female Doctor.
He expressed a desire to do more acting, while appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, saying he “definitely will at some point” and adding: “I don’t know what it’s going to be.
“I’d love to play a sexy witch with magic powers.”
But prompted by presenter Lorraine Kelly who suggested “a sexy witch in Doctor Who?”, he said he would not be taking on the role.
He said: “I mean it would be amazing, but I’m definitely not the Doctor.
“But I love the show and I can’t wait to watch it when it gets rebooted, because it’s going to be good.”
The musician also spoke about his first solo Years & Years record, Night Call, which was released last week.
He told Kelly: “I was just at home in my flat and I’d been listening to so much 80s music from It’s A Sin.
“I’ve always loved that era, but I just got so inspired again by that spirit of the dancefloor and the music that you would hear – disco and dance music.
“It really fed into Night Call.”
Night Call is currently on track to take the top spot in this week’s albums chart, the Official Charts Company said on Monday.
Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin writer Russell T Davies is returning to Doctor Who as showrunner after leaving the show in 2009.
Davies, who was responsible for Doctor Who’s revival in 2005, will make his return to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the show in 2023 and for series beyond, the BBC previously said.
It’s A Sin actress Lydia West has been named by bookies recently as one of the favourites to step into Whittaker’s shoes.