‘I felt relieved’ Blue’s Duncan James pretended to date Geri Halliwell to hide sexuality

Duncan James says online trolling is ‘terrible’ on GMB

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Duncan James, 44, has said he used to go along with rumours claiming he was dating his celebrity pals, in a bid to ensure that people didn’t discover he was gay. The Blue singer explained he was once terrified of being ridiculed, so instead tried to convey he was straight by pretending to date famous friends such as Geri Haliwell and Martine McCutcheon. 

Despite his attempts to hide in the past, the Celebrity Gogglebox star now stands proudly as a gay man, recently performing at Pride events.

He is happy to perform in make-up, lingerie, and even a pair of suspenders. 

“It has taken me a long time to feel completely comfortable,” the star explained. 

“I remember when I was in Blue the first time around, there were all these rumours I was dating my friends Geri, Martine and Tara [Palmer- Tomkinson] and I used to feel relieved.”

Speaking to The Mirror earlier this week, he said he finally feels comfortable in his own skin. 

He attributed much of this to his supportive friends, such as Denise Van Outen, with whom he shares the screen on Celebrity Gogglebox, as well as the love of his boyfriend, Rodrigo Reis. 

During his time with the band Blue, they went on to play at Pride events around England. 

Duncan confessed he struggled to tour at the time, as he hadn’t yet come out. 

“I was playing Pride with Blue and feeling such a hypocrite because everyone was celebrating their sexuality and I was still in the closet,” he explained.

This changed, however, when he began to feel more comfortable and ready to open up about his sexuality. 

Describing how it feels to be back on stage with Blue now that he is openly gay, the singer spoke very positively of the experience. 

He said he “loved” performing the band’s tracks in “full drag”. 

“Doing drag is so liberating. It’s like wearing a very camp Superman costume – you feel so empowered,” the singer added.

Duncan is currently starring in Celebrity Gogglebox alongside former Big Breakfast host Denise, 48 – with the two forging a strong relationship in recent times. 

The singer described Denise as the ultimate “gay icon and ally”.

He praised her for her non-judgemental attitude and loyalty as a friend. 

Duncan said Denise was someone he could “tell anything to”. 

He then candidly went on to explain how his relationship with Rodrigo gave him the courage to accept and embrace his sexuality. 

Rodrigo, according to Duncan, was the “first person” who wasn’t ashamed to hold his hand in public. 

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