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BBC commentator and former British athlete Colin Jackson comes out as gay

2017-08-28
Colin Jackson has come out as gay. The British athlete and BBC commentator, 50, has spoken publicly about his sexuality for the first time in an interview on Swedish television as part of the series Rainbow Heroes. Jackson, a two-time World Championship gold medallist n the 110m hurdles, said that he had chosen to speak about his experiences as a gay man after previously worrying about elements of the media who might want to "sensationalise" the story. He told former female high-jump athlete Kajsa Bergqvist : "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. "I think lots of people who have asked me before about it have wanted to sensationalise it." Jackson, who has commentated for BBC since retiring from athletics in 2003 and has previously denied speculation that he is gay, said that he had been forced to come out to his parents in 2006 after a former partner sold a story on him to the tabloid press. "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," he recalled. "It didn’t phase them at all." The 1988 Seoul Olympic Games silver medalist said: "My mum went: 'First of all, is the story true?' "And I said it’s true, so it’s not like I can deny it. And then she went: 'Well, why are people so disgraceful?' "I just realised, I’ve got the best parents," he added. More stories: In pictures: Manchester Pride 2017 Manchester United face homophobic backlash after tweeting support for Pride