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Eurovision host Rylan Clark reveals he was targeted by horrific homophobic abuse


RYLAN Clark has revealed he was almost in a fist-fight after vile homophobes started hurling abuse at him. 

The beloved TV presenter – who is back presenting this year’s Eurovision Song Contest – was filming his new TV series, Rob And Rylan’s Grand Tour, with judge and Strictly star Rob Rinder when the incident occurred. 

Rylan and Rob's time in Venice was marred by homophobic slurs


Rylan and Rob’s time in Venice was marred by homophobic slursCredit: PA
Rylan admits he wanted to fight the men involved


Rylan admits he wanted to fight the men involvedCredit: Instagram /@rylan

Speaking on Olivia Attwood’s So Wrong It’s Right podcast, Rob and Rylan detailed their experience in Venice, Italy, where they spent time with an underground drag collective called House Of Serenissima. 

“All these people would meet behind closed doors to dress up in drag, have fun, have a lovely day, wipe off all the drag and then go back out on the streets of Venice and go home,” Rylan explained. 

“It’s behind closed doors because they didn’t feel safe.” 

Noting the country is “not very LGBT friendly”, things got scary when they were roped in to dress in drag for a photoshoot in San Marco Square. 

“I’m quite impulsive and think, “f**k it, let’s have a laugh” [but] Rob goes, “what’s the reason?”. So we go to meet this collective, all gorgeous and lovely,” Rylan explained.  

“Rob finally got it and we dressed up in drag, the pair of us, and we walked with the whole collective to San Marco Square – Rob was giving Pauline Fowler vibes, it was the look he ended up with.” 

“We were walking through and one thing that really stood out was someone shouted out something in Italian,” he said. “It was a young guy, probably 20 something, I turned to one of the drag queens and said, ‘what did he just say?’. And they said, ‘burn the f****ts’.”

“I’m now 20 foot in a pair of heels, I wanted to go mad,” Rylan admitted. “I wanted to go after this bloke and basically knock him out.” 

“Then what happened, 200m later there was a group of old nonnas, probably in their 90s, and they all stood up and clapped us,” Rylan added. 

“It was that realisation of thinking we always blame the older generation for everything, they’re backwards in their thinking, when actually it was that generation that was applauding this collective for being comfortable in who they are, and yet it was our generation of people who were shouting out ‘burn the f****s’. 

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“That was a real realisation moment, not just for us, but for them as well. They realised the people they thought we would offend or upset are the ones looking after us. It was really beautiful.” 

For the new BBC2 series, Rob and Rylan head off around Italy for their own “grand tour” – which was a rite of passage for the young male nobility of the 18th Century.

The duo retrace the steps of Lord Byron on the 200th anniversary of the romantic poet’s death, heading to Venice, Florence and Rome. 

Byron fled to Italy to escape the public eye following his divorce – something both Rob and Rylan can relate to.

Rylan praised the 90 year old women who cheered them on rather than scolding them


Rylan praised the 90 year old women who cheered them on rather than scolding themCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Rob and Rylan will spend time in Venice, Rome and Florence


Rob and Rylan will spend time in Venice, Rome and FlorenceCredit: PA
Rob and Rylan are going on their 'grand tour' across Italy in the new series


Rob and Rylan are going on their ‘grand tour’ across Italy in the new seriesCredit: PA
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