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John Barrowman 'sets record straight' over allegations he exposed himself on set of Doctor Who and Torchwood

The actor is reportedly being considered for a comeback to TV after the scandal, according to The Mirror.

2021-07-21

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki

John Barrowman has said he wants to “set the record straight” following allegations of inappropriate behaviour on the set of Doctor Who and the spinoff series, Torchwood.

The 54-year-old, who played Captain Jack Harkness in both series, has previously apologised for his “tomfoolery” following the allegations and an investigation by The Guardian

However, it seems the actor may already be set to return to work, with reports that he has lined up presenting work for later in the year.

“I plan to draw a thick black line under it”

To provide some context, Barrowman found himself in trouble back in May after footage obtained by The Guardian in their investigation of allegations of harassment against Doctor Who actor Noel Clarke showed Clarke saying, “Barrowman was there taking his d*ck out every five seconds.”

Clarke has denied all allegations against him.

The paper had confirmation from sources that Barrowman had exposed himself and that there had been complaints. In a statement at the time, Barrowman recognised his actions had caused upset and they were only meant “in good humour”.

This saw a video of the actor as Captain Jack Harkness being removed from the Doctor Who: Time Fracture immersive theatrical production.

Speaking exclusively to The Daily Mail, the actor said: “The moment has come to set the record straight,” and that, “This is the first time – and the last – I will address this subject. And then I plan to draw a thick black line under it.”

He told the Mail that he had a “relaxed” attitude to nudity so would often walk around in an open robe. He also said that as a lead actor, he saw it as his responsibility to keep the rest of the cast and crew entertained on set.

“I'd be waiting in my trailer wearing just a robe with a sock over my "parts". Then, if I were standing waiting to film a scene where I needed to be nude and someone came into view, I'd make a joke to put them and myself at ease.”

He does admit that it’s “debatable” whether the behaviour would make any situation less awkward. He goes on to say that his behaviour would be regarded as a “prank” had it happened in an “all-male environment” like a rugby changing room and that people get undressed all the time doing quick changes in the theatre.

“Girls might be braless, boys only in jockstraps. That's just how it is and no one gives it a second thought. But I accept that my behaviour at the time could have caused offence.”

He recounts being told to “grow up!” by Doctor Who producer Julie Gardner, who confirmed to The Guardian she had received a complaint regarding Barrowman’s behaviour, which he says changed his behaviour.

 “I wouldn't do now what I did then”

The actor denied exposing himself in a 2008 BBC Radio 1 interview, despite having apologised for it at the time.

Barrowman told the Mail he considers himself “collateral damage” to the allegations surrounding Noel Clarke and that having reflected on everything considers there to be two issues – the aftermath of the #MeToo movement and cancel culture.

He said: “I'm a supporter of #MeToo because no person should ever feel that in order to succeed in their career they can be coerced into doing something sexual against their will.

“My problem with cancel culture […] There's no leeway for forgiveness or room for recognising any change in someone's behaviour. Cancel culture tends to talk at you or past you or through you, rather than listen to you. Dialogue is extremely rare.”

Barrowman said he’d had support from fellow actors and colleagues, including Torchwood co-star Gareth David-Lloyd, who played Jack Harkness's lover Ianto Jones, who said John always “meant to entertain”, as well as his fellow judge on ITV’s Dancing on Ice, Ashley Banjo, who said he’s like to see Barrowman comeback and that the behaviour had been, “blown out of proportion”.

Finally, the actor said, “I wouldn't do now what I did then”, and that he’s gearing up for work already, including a tour around the UK.

On Tuesday (20 July) The Mirror reported that Barrowman was set for a “comeback” with ITV bosses reportedly giving Barrowman another chance as the host of two upcoming series of All Star Musicals, with insiders quoted as saying, “Talks with John are going well”.

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