12 prominent gay presenters on British television

TV presenters are two a penny. But openly gay TV presenters, well, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Surprisingly, though, British television seems to have more than its fair share of presenters who just so happen to be out and proud. And so, to our rundown of twelve of the top gay presenters, hosts, broadcasters, (call them what you like!) on British TV. Some are famous. Some are not. Some are down right funny. And some are just far too gorgeous for words…

Andrew Hayden-Smith

Whistle for a hottie indeed! Apparently Andrew realized he was gay at the tender age of five! Before getting into television presenting for CBBC, he appeared in the BBC’s popular children’s drama Byker Grove. Oh, and more recently, Andrew guest starred in several episodes of Doctor Who!

Kristian Digby

Smart and charming – the perfect combination! Kristian is a popular daytime TV presenter with the BBC. His shows include To Buy or Not to Buy, Uncharted Territory and Trading Up. He’s also an award-winning film director and property developer. And he hosted That Gay Show for BBC Choice.

Alan Carr

Thanks to his camp demeanor and saucy jokes, British stand-up comedian and TV presenter Carr has become a popular figure on the comedy circuit. The co-host of Channel 4’s brilliant The Friday Night Project is much in demand and it’s rumored ITV want him to present a planned revival of Blind Date. Oh my. What would Cilla say?!

Graham Norton

Perhaps one of the UK’s most famous gay men, never mind TV presenters, Norton has many chat shows under his belt, including So Graham Norton, V Graham Norton and The Graham Norton Show. He’s also presented the likes of Any Dream Will Do, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Strictly Dance Fever for the BBC. Oh, and he played Father Noel Furlong on Channel 4’s critically acclaimed sitcom Father Ted.

Alistair Appleton

After graduating with a 2.1 degree in English Literature, Alistair left the UK for Poland. He became the front-man of youth current-affairs show, Heat, in Germany. In 1999 he returned to the UK and went on to host House Doctor on Five, as well as Garden Invaders and Cash in the Attic for the BBC. Surprisingly, Alistair has even appeared in Footballers’ Wives, of all things!


Anthony Crank


Best known for his presenting work on Channel 4’s T4 and MTV, as well as BBC Holiday, Crank has also been the celebrity editor for numerous magazines including OK!, Mizz and More. He’s acted alongside Anna Friel and was once crowned Mr Lovely Legs UK by Richard and Judy. Now that we’d like to see!

Paul O’Grady

There was a time when television presenter, actor and comedian O’Grady was best known for dressing up in drag as his alter-ego, Lily Savage. Nowadays he’s become the King of his own early evening chat show, The New Paul O’Grady Show on Channel 4.

Brian Dowling

Former flight attendant Brian won Big Brother in 2001 and has since gone on to have a very successful TV presenting career. Highlights include SMTV Live, Brian’s Boyfriends, I’m Famous and Frightened and The Mint. Most recently, he’s been displaying his cooking skills, or lack of, as a trainee celebrity chef on Hell’s Kitchen, narrowly missing a place in the final two.

Julian Clary

Actor, comedian and writer, Clary started his career on the alternative comedy circuit. In the early 1980s he called himself The Joan Collins Fanclub, wore heavy glam make-up, outrageous clothes and was rarely seen without his pet dog, “Fanny the Wonder Dog.” High on camp, he’s hosted his own game show, Sticky Moments with Julian Clary, as well as The All Star Talent Show and Underdogs. In 1992 he appeared in Carry On Columbus, which was a (very) unsuccessful attempt to revive the Carry On films.

Simon Amstell

Described by Heat magazine as “a one man advert for geek chic”, presenter and stand-up comedian Amstell started out as a presenter on children’s channel, Nickelodeon. He then went on to host Popworld on Channel 4 for six years. Unafraid to ask celebrities annoying and irrelevant questions, he made Britney Spears cry long before her performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards. Amstell currently presents Never Mind the Buzzcocks on BBC2.

Brendan Courtney

Irish comedian and TV presenter, Courtney created and presented Ireland’s hit Internet chat room dating show Wanderlust. His hosting skills have also featured on How Gay Are You?, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Weddings Live, The Clothes Show and Ireland’s prime-time talk show, The Brendan Courtney Show.

Antony Cotton

Before finding fame as gay barman and factory worker Sean Tully in Coronation Street, Cotton appeared in the original UK version of Queer as Folk. More recently, he’s been hosting his very own tea time chat show called That Antony Cotton Show on ITV1.

 

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