X-Factor winner reveals pressures he's faced about his sexuality

Matt Terry said that while on the ITV show he was once told to 'tone down' elements of his image because he 'looked too gay'.

Former X-Factor star Matt Terry told ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda of the pressures he faced about his sexuality since appearing on the show

Matt Terry has revealed his experience of winning the X-Factor nearly ten years ago was tainted by what he had to deal with behind the scenes.

Terry, 30, said he was told to tone down elements of his image while on the ITV talent show because he “looked too gay”.

Speaking to ITV News, he said he was given “nowhere near” enough support to deal with scrutiny from the tabloid media, which appeared more interested in his sexuality than his vocal talents.

“I can’t blame the show because it has given me a career, but also I’d be lying if I said my mental health wasn’t affected,” he said.

Now, after a brief hiatus from the industry, Terry is back with new music – his latest track reliving the secrecy he kept around his first same sex relationship.

Matt Terry performs on stage during the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards in 2017. / Credit: PA

Terry described it as the “only song that I’ve struggled to sing”, adding: “All that hiding that I did and it breaks my heart to think about it.

“I don’t want anybody to make the same mistake I did because there is so much room for everybody in this world to love freely.”

An X-Factor spokesperson said: “The X Factor has always been proud to champion and welcome contestants from a diverse range of backgrounds with the duty of care of all contributors being of the utmost importance to us.

They added: “During Matt’s time on the show in 2016, there were robust measures in place to ensure everyone involved in the making of the programme was supported throughout their experience and beyond including a dedicated welfare team.”

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