Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins has revealed that she was victim to a homophobic attack that left her in tears.
The presenter and comedian says she “burst into tears” after a man verbally assaulted her on Hampstead Heath in North London. Speaking on an episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, Perkins revealed: “I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently … I was on the heath and this guy, I think he said, ‘You f***ing dyke.'”
The 51-year-old TV personality told podcast hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney that she feared the altercation might turn physical. “At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went: ‘What did you say?'” she recalled, “and he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like an intimation of something physical.”
Fearful of the situation, Perkins kept her space: “I thought ‘I’m going to just stand here.’ I remember my hand was out because I wanted to keep that distance. Like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”
Perkins told Cumming and Sweeney that she maintained her composure before asking him again what he had said. “He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, ‘I just mean you’ve got a nice face, why would you…’ I just thought, ‘What’s my face got to do with you?'”
Not wanting to escalate the situation, Perkins said she “didn’t want to replace knee jerk unkindness with knee jerk unkindness,” and she told the man :I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today” before leaving and bursting into tears.
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