Saturday, January 22, 2011

A few days ago Jonathan Ross, speaking by phone to Gaydar Radio, mentioned that his elder daughter is gay. Needless to say there was quite a lot of media interest in Jonathan's comment, not least because Mr Ross is regarded by some, including Newsround Blog, as a bully. This is based on numerous remarks by Jonathan himself, although widespread accusations that Ross once suggested gay children should be put up for adoption are unfair.

One example of the aforementioned unfairness, which came about as a result of a widely reported incorrect quotation, occurred in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Mail: "Jonathan Ross has proudly revealed that his daughter Betty Kitten is a lesbian - despite once joking that gay children should be adopted."

Newsround Blog has nothing but contempt for both the Daily Mail and for Jonathan Ross, but we do try to be accurate. In this case Ross meant to suggest that a gay child would need to be registered with an adoption agency in order to be able to start a family when they later settle down with a partner.

Recording of Radio 2 comment (9th May 2009) on YouTube.

The timing of the Jonathan Ross interview on Gaydar Radio might not just be down to chance. Ross is to host the British Comedy Awards this evening - his first really high profile TV appearance since leaving the BBC. Maybe Ross wanted to garner publicity for the event and get better viewing figures, or maybe he wanted to spoil any newspaper 'exclusives' about his daughter which might follow. Actually his daughter Betty Kitten had not kept her sexuality secret on her Twitter feed, but few people knew until the Gaydar Radio interview.

It remains to be seen if Jonathan will make any references to his family on tonight's show - my guess is he won't. He told Gaydar Radio that his children's sexuality was "none of my business" and "certainly none of my concern."

So what has happened to the old Jonathan Ross - Jonathan Ross the casual homophobe, who apparently saw nothing else in gay people other than their supposed sex lives, and who demonstrated that attitude week after week on his Friday night BBC TV show. Has he changed? Time will tell.

Lastly, it should be said that there are those in the LGBT community who, despite his record of homophobia, hold Ross in high esteem.

Gaydar Radio interview (MP3 download)

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