Marc Almond slams Rowan Atkinson and other comedians for mocking his sexuality

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, Attitude is interviewing some of its heroes for a landmark podcast series. In the latest edition, editor-in-chief Matt Cain chats to Soft Cell's Marc Almond – available to listen to and download now – who happens to be a former winner of Attitude’s Icon Award. Marc, who grew up in Leeds, opens up about the devastating impact his first appearance on the BBC show Top of the Pops had on his personal life. What was supposed to be a huge life achievement quickly spiralled into chaos because of his behaviour during the band's performance. “My first Top of the Pops experience changed my life completely. I experienced the worst homophobia I’ve ever experienced at that time. It was a fearful time. "I was still living in Leeds in a little house and I got the press knocking on my door, I got people knocking on my door threatening to bash me all the time, to kill me. Because I'd been so uber gay in my Top of the Pops appearance." But it wasn't just the public that were targeting him at the time. Marc was also left shamed and embarrassed when high-profile comedians, including the likes of Rowan Atkinson, poked fun at his mannerisms on television back in a time when being gay was considered nothing more than a cheap gag. “I remember the people on TV taking the mickey out of me. I remember on Juke Box Jury (that they'd brought back in the early Eighties), they had an artist on who shall remain nameless, who got up and did this horrible homophobic impression of me. "And then you got Rowan Atkinson as well on Not the Nine O'Clock News doing some kind of weird impressions of me. You got Russ Abbot at one point doing gay impressions of me. And I just thought it was terrifying," he added. Listen to his full interview in the new Attitude Heroes podcast – available to download free from iTunes or other podcast platforms now. Attitude Heroes is produced by Wisebuddah and sponsored by the GREAT Britain campaign, which welcomes the world to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK, and also Jaguar. For more product information please visit jaguar.co.uk