Paul O’Grady has shared details of a homophobic incident he was subjected to on board a recent flight from Thailand to the UK.
Speaking to The Sun, the TV presenter explained that he and his husband, Andre Portasio, were the target of obscene comments and homophobic name-calling, when one passenger suggested that Andre had been “looking at him”.
Fortunately, true to form, Paul was more than able to handle himself.
After being branded a “fucking queer” Paul revealed he “stood up” and said: “You’re lucky we’re not in the street, mate, because you’d be eating your dinner through a straw.”
Paul told the newspaper: “He didn’t know I was sitting next to Andre. Then the bonehead was saying something about me thinking I could do whatever I wanted because I was famous.
“He claimed Andre had been looking at him, which was ridiculous. I mean, he was this typical English yob with a beard and a beer belly.”
Following this, Paul said the man was ejected from business class and eventually arrested at Heathrow, though he and Andre ultimately declined to press charges, as this would have meant other passengers being delayed so they could give statements.
“It was only afterwards I thought they should have turned that flight around and had him arrested by Thai police,” Paul remarked. “It could easily have turned nasty up there.”
Paul and Andre tied the knot in a private ceremony last summer, with celebrity guests in attendance including Julian Clary and Sir Ian McKellen.
The wedding came just a few months after Paul made his debut as the host of Channel 5’s ‘Blind Date’ reboot, which included LGBTQ contestants for the first time in the show’s history.