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Tom Allen says Noël Coward helped him embrace his 'outsider-ness' as a gay teen

The comedian opens up as he recites Coward's 1938 song 'I Went to a Marvellous Party' for Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley.

2021-06-18

Is there anything in the world that Tom Allen's dulcit tones can't improve?

We're pretty sure the answer is no, and while we're still waiting for his rendition of the Cambridge dictionary or the Yellow Pages, we do have something for the host of Bake Off: The Professionals host to sink his comic chops into.

The comedian, 37, recites Noël Coward’s 1938 song ‘I Went to a Marvellous Party’ in Attitude’s Speaking of Pride, in empowered by Bentley.

Explaining his choice of reading Tom says: “When I was a teenager, I realised I felt different and perhaps a little isolated in the world. Different to the people around me in so many ways. I often felt sad because of that.

“And then I realised, actually, you could embrace that sadness and that feeling of outsider-ness and make it your strength. I was emboldened to do that because of reading people like Noel Coward.”

The song was written by English playwright and composer Coward in 1938 and is one of his most popular. It recounts five parties attended by the narrator and describes all manner of events taking place in a vibrant, alcohol-addled world.

Allen muses: “I don’t know why I like it so much. I suppose it represented to me a world of something glamorous, and fun, and eccentric where people were allowed to be different and were celebrated for me.

“When I was growing up in suburban Bromley I don’t know if I had many references for that…”

Also appearing in Attitude’s Speaking of Pride series is the Co-founder of UK Black Pride Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, comedian Rosie Jones, swimmer Michael Gunning and trans-author and journalist Juno Dawson. 

Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley, is part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, that runs from 17-27 June at attitude.co.uk, youtube.com/attitudemag and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@attitudemag).

Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes – this year supporting ten amazing organisations including AKT, Black Trans Foundation, Curly’s Legacy, Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Food Chain, Kaleidoscope Trust, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mermaids, Stonewall UK and Switchboard LGBT.

Each will receive at least £1000 courtesy of our sponsors Klarna, Bentley, Clifford Chance, Slingsby, Swatch and Taimi and individual supporters.

To donate £5 please text ATHOME5 to 70480 or see our Virgin Money Giving link here. Visit attitudemagazinefoundation.com for more details.