Alan Carr didn't exactly spring from nowhere. He served his apprenticeship on open-mic nights and at a corporate gig for the Abney National where he was pelted with Cadbury Mini Eggs. Even so, funnyman Alan Carr seems to have been with us forever. He's what he appears to be: an out and proud gay man who entertains the nation. And he's loved for it.
He'd be the last person to accept he's a role model, but that's what he is. Having faced homophobia growing up, Alan was always determined to rise above it. And what a way to rise, with a career that's seen him both Bafta and National Television Awards, and reach national treasure status by the tender age of 40. And that's why he deserves an Attitude Icon Award, supported by Sky
Alan has long been a defender of gay men who don't fit the masculine ideal we've been taught to aspire to. "I think camp people on the gay social scene can be persona non grata," he explained to us.
"People have to remember that there are camp boys and butch lesbians going to school and the playground might as well be a battleground for the amount of shit they're getting.
"Other communities pull together and I don't think we do that. I think with some of the atrocities in the world, especially the rise of religious extremism, we've got genuine enemies. Camp men aren't the enemy here."
Alan Carr was presented with his award by Myleene Klass at tonight's star-studded Attitude Awards ceremony at London's 8 Northumberland Avenue, hosted by Alan Cumming.
Read more from Alan Carr and the rest of winners from the Attitude Awards 2016, presented in association with Virgin Holidays, in our special November issue, which comes with six different covers featuring some the night's biggest winners.
It's available to download from 11pm tonight (October 10) at pocketmags.com/attitude and available in shops from Wednesday (October 12). You can order the cover of your choice from 10am on Tuesday (October 11) at newsstand.co.uk.
Alan wears blazer by Paul Smith at Selfridges, shirt by Gucci, trousers by Noose & Monkey at ASOS and shoes by Jimmy Choo.
Styling by Joseph Kocharian
Photography by Leigh Keily