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Sue Perkins left 'in tears' after homophobic verbal attack in London's Hampstead Heath

The former 'Bake Off' host feared the incident would turn violent.

2020-10-02

Sue Perkins recently fell victim to a verbal homophobic attack on London's Hampstead Heath, she says.

Speaking on the Homo Sapiens podcast, the former Great British Bake Off host added she feared the man was going to hit her during the incident.

“I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently," she said, sharing the shocking story. "And I thought, 'Oh, I wonder if that's coming back?' I was on the heath and this guy, I think he said, 'You f***ing dyke.'

“[...] You know when something bad happens and on the bus on the way home you think of all the brilliant things you should have said in that moment? I had that very profoundly.

“At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went, 'What did you say?' And he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like a intimation of something physical.

Sue was in Hamsptead Heath when she was homophobically abused (Pictures: BBC)

“I just thought I'm going to stand here. And, very calmly, I went, 'What did you say?' I remember my hand was out - I wanted to keep that distance, like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”

Going into more detail, she added: “He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, 'I just mean you've got a nice face, why would you...' I just thought, 'What's my face got to do with you?'

“I just said, 'I'm just walking my dog and I'm quiet and I'm in a good mood and I've got love for everyone here and you've destroyed that and you can't take that back today.' And I went off and I burst into tears. It was so shocking and so unusual.

“[...] It had been decades. It was on Hampstead Heath and he was sort of loitering by the gents loos. [...] He had reactor like glasses on. The worst part of me wanted to say 'If anyone's going to judge anybody on what they're doing and where they are...' But I didn't want to replace knee-jerk unkindness with knee-jerk unkindness."

Sue is also known for TV shows like Light Lunch and Celebrity Big Brother.