25/05/2020 09:36 BST | Updated 25/05/2020 10:23 BST

Sandi Toksvig Recalls Being Vilified By Tabloid Press After Coming Out In The 1990s

The ex-Bake Off host has claimed the tabloids "thought that she was Cruella de Vil" after she revealed she is a lesbian.

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Sandi Toksvig has recalled being vilified by the tabloid press after coming out in the early 1990s.

The former Great British Bake Off host publicly came out in 1994, prompting the organisation Save The Children to drop her as the compere of their 75th anniversary celebrations, only to end up apologising after pressure from the group Lesbian Avengers.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Sandi recalled this period of her life, in particular how she was written about in the tabloid press. 

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Sandi Toksvig

For a long time, Deb [Sandi’s wife] and I didn’t live in a house – we lived in a ‘love nest’,” she joked. “What do they think is going on here? We’re basically going: ‘Do you think these tomatoes have gone off?’”

However, she was also quick to point out that this treatment wasn’t necessarily reflected by the British public.

Sandi said: “I’ve always said the British people are nicer, kinder people than the tabloid press would have us believe.

“I came out, and the tabloid press thought that I was Cruella de Vil; I never got that from the public.” 

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Sandi and Debbie Toksvig at the Diva Magazine Awards last year

Nowadays, she claimed “they’ve stopped putting ‘lesbian Sandi Toksvig’ whenever they mention me”, commenting: “I don’t know whether it’s because it’s a given, or they’ve just given up. I’m still a lesbian.”

Sandi recently made her final appearance on the Great British Bake Off, presenting the Stand Up To Cancer celebrity specials with Noel Fielding.

It’s since been revealed that she will be replaced by former Little Britain star Matt Lucas, marking the first time two men have hosted the hit Channel 4 show.