- He came out while talking on SVT for a television series called Rainbow Heroes
- He did not reveal his sexuality earlier because he did not want it sensationalized
- Jackson also told the program of the moment he came out to his parents
BBC presenter and former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson has come out as gay.
The track star talked openly about his sexuality on a program called Rainbow Heroes, which is being aired on Swedish broadcaster SVT.
Speaking with Swedish LGBT former athletes – high-jumper
and long-jumper Peter Häggström – Jackson said he had not come out earlier because he did not want the story ‘sensationalized’.
He said he decided to reveal that he is gay on Rainbow Heroes because the program was dedicated to showing how his sexuality affected him personally.
Jackson, 50, said: ‘The way you asked me, it was a whole storytelling kind of thing and you were just interested in the way it affected me sports-wise, emotionally-wise and my preparation.’
In 2006, a year after he came second in the third series of Strictly Come Dancing, the athlete became the subject of a kiss-and-tell story in the now defunct News of the WorldIt featured an interview with a gay airline steward who claimed to have had a secret affair with the star.
It featured an interview with a gay airline steward who claimed to have had a secret affair with the star.
The story led to Jackson coming out to his parents though he continued to insist that he was straight in public.
He denied the rumors in a 2008 interview with The Voice newspaper in which he said that he enjoyed being single.
Speaking of the moment he revealed that he was gay to his parents, Jackson told SVT: ‘I was waiting for them in the kitchen. They walked in and they sat down. My mother could see my face and I was quite distraught. It didn’t faze them at all.’
He said after he told his parents the story was true his parents were very supportive.
‘I just realized, I’ve got the best parents,’ he said.
In 2008, Jackson said he did not believe there was a stigma against gay athletes.
Speaking to The Voice newspaper at the time, he said: ‘It’s the 21st century. I don’t think anybody thinks about that anymore. There might have been a stigma in years gone by.’