SUE Perkins has revealed how she was left in tears after being subjected to a vile homophobic attack in London.
The ex-GBBO host, 51, was left in shock after being verbally abused on Hampstead Heath and feared she was going to be punched.
The TV presenter – who is very open about her sexuality – recalled the abuse she received during a chat on the Homo Sapiens podcast.
Sue said: “I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently, 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.
“I just thought I’m going to stand here. And, very calmly, I went, ‘What did you say?’ I remember my hand was out because 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. At the time I thought, ‘Oh, that’s back again.’
“But no, that was the first time ever, when I was growing up it was just mutterings, it was all quiet, and a cultural thing of that’s just not quite right.”
The comedian also revealed how she might act differently if it happened again.
She said: “It’s interesting what you do in the moment, and I felt very threatened by him, but it was more homophobia aside, it was more an indicator of what I did in an aggressive situation, I thought I might have to re-calibrate that, I don’t necessarily want to walk towards angry people again.”
Sue – who is famously one half of comedy duo Mel & Sue – is in a relationship with 50-year-old TV presenter Anna Richardson, who was previously married to film director Charles Martin for 18 years.
Anna met Sue at a 2013 Halloween party after her divorce.
Secret Eaters and Naked Attraction host Anna says of the night they met: “That night was one of the most extraordinary, memorable evenings where literally the planets aligned.
“Something was in the air that night, and that was the night we got together.
“There was an absolute understanding between us, and we’ve been together ever since. And it’s been profound for me.”
But Sue says of her sexuality that “being a lesbian is only about the 47th most interesting thing about me”.