Top Gear star defends controversial gay joke
RICHARD Hammond has spoken out after a controversial joke he made last year about ice cream being "gay".
According to The Sun, in December 2016 while on The Big Tour with fellow ex-Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson and James May, Richard had announced that he didn't want to eat ice cream, declaring: "I don't eat ice cream," replied Hammond. "It's something to do with being straight. Ice cream is a bit - you know."
Clarkson replied: "Are you saying everyone who likes ice cream ... you're saying all children are homosexual?"
Hammond continues: "There's nothing wrong with it ... it's that way rather than that way. There's nothing wrong with it, but a grown man eating an ice cream - it's that way, rather than that way."
Speaking in an interview with the Times Magazine this weekend, he commented that he didn't think the comments, which were slammed by LGBT organisations, had discouraged people from coming out.
He commented: "It was certainly not what I set out to do. I wouldn't want to cause genuine difficulty for anyone. But if it's mock fury, pantomime fury from people looking to take offence then …
"Anyone who knows me know that I was being serious, that I'm not homophobic. Love is love, whatever the sex of the two people in love.
"It may be because I live in a hideously safe and contained middle class world, where a person's sexuality is not an issue, but when I hear of people in the media coming out, I think, why do they even feel the need to mention it.
"It is so old-fashioned to make a big deal of it. That isn't even an interesting thing to say at a dinner party any more."
When asked if he had meant the comments in a Ricky Gervais, pushing the boundaries type way, Hammond replied: "I don't think I can claim it was as carefully crafted as that.
"I'm not a comic, and when I try to be funny it bites me on the arse."
Singer Olly Alexander tweeted at the time: "Really tho no wonder some straight guys are f***ed up they can't even have ice cream."
This article was originally published on The Sun and was republished here with permission.