|OK ! Magazine #555|
|23 Janvier 2007|
|Interview by Christian Guiltenane|
|Photographs by Abi Wyles|
It looks like you had a rather lively day, John. We even saw you flash your castmate Eve Myles !
Well, instead of making it some kind of pretentious event, we wanted it to be fun and a celebration of Scott and I. We wanted to be ourselves and so I flashed Eve. And yes, like a true Scot, I had nothing on underneath !
Now it's all legal, do you feel any different ?
John : We've been together so long, so I don't feel all that different.
Scott : I hadn't thought much about it in the run-up because I was so busy at work. In fact it was becoming a bit of a nuisance that we had to do it at all, but on the day itself, it felt very special. I feel like we're linked for life now.
You said you didn't want a big ceremony but it looked like an extravaganza !
John : I was saying I didn't want a big celebration but as time went on and I was doing a lot more television, we were in a position that we could let people see what kind of gay men we are. We wanted to show the normality of the situation, that we're not the fancy type who dress up in big gowns for our day ! I mean, Scott was just happy to walk into a registry office with no-one there !
But you didn't want it to be very traditional, did you ?
John : There was no ritual aspect to the whole day. We had a registrar there but we were adamant about the wording of the ceremony. We had vows, but our vows weren't like : 'Will you honour and obey', it was more like : 'Will you be my best friend, my partner, will you share your life with me ?'
Were all your families there ?
John : I flew them over from the States and Scott's were all there too. My mother sang a song called The Wedding and my father read a poem by Robert Burns, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose, and changed the words a little.
Were there tears ?
John : Scott shed some. The fact that his whole family were there meant a lot to him and also he'd lost his sister to brain cancer last year and I know he would have wanted her there. It was important that our parents be there because they felt it was important to express their support on the day as they have lost friends because of some of their friends' attitudes toward gay people.
Does it amaze you that people are still not tolerant about gay relationships ?
John : My mum and dad used to have to listen to these people saying terrible things and then one day she just finally said : 'Look I can't be your friend any more. You're speaking ill of my son, who looked after you when you came to London. And then you say that all gay people should be put on an island and blown up !?' And so my parents walked out on them and have never spoken to them since.
Scott : You have to remember that we're talking about people in their seventies and eighties who were brought up with Victorian values. But we're moving on now and things are getting better. I was brought up in the '70s when the only role models were Danny La Rue and Larry Grayson and the thought of being gay was horrific - it was like being a leper. When my parents found out I was gay they took it well. I think they were actually bewildered by it all. They didn't understand. It was hard but it was when I left home, so I'm afraid I let them get on with it. John was the first guy I'd brought home to meet them formally. They loved him straight away and it quickly became apparent they preferred him to me!
Was it love at first sight ?
John : It was for me. I was doing a play in Chichester and Scott was brought down to see the play by a mutual friend of ours. He told Scott : 'You've gotta see this guy in the play, he's naked for the first seven minutes !' So Scott certainly knew what he was getting !
Scott : Yes, when the lights went up, there were these three rather handsome naked men on stage. I looked at John and it was like a lighthouse on a dark night and I thought he could be a guy I could have a relationship with.
So you liked what you saw ?
Scott : Oh yes, very much so. It was a fine display ! It was pretty much the first time I'd seen someone and knew that he was the one.
So what happened next ?
John : Later on that evening, when Scott came round to the dressing room, I thought to myself, my God, that's him. But I was under the impression that Scott was dating my friend and he thought I was dating the same friend! From that point we never saw each other for another year, but weirdly I kept seeing Scott when I was driving around London. But I was always too embarrassed to go up and talk to him in case he thought I was trying to chat him up - which I would have loved to have done.
Scott : After that he started getting work on TV and I thought he was out of my league and thought I'd just forget about it. But then we met again.
Has it been an easy 13 years ?
John : Relationships are work. We've had clashes, but what I have learned from my parents is never go to bed angry.
Is fidelity important in your relationship ?
John : We are a couple who will get through any bumps or humps in the road. But we are not in an open relationship.
But do you think the likes of George Michael who have open relationships only reinforce those negative views about gay people ?
John : It happens. People cruise and I don't have a problem with George Michael doing it, because it is part of the culture. The press see it as salacious, but straight people cruise too, they have sex in public. But it's not a big news story because it's heterosexual. But I want people to see that there are other aspects to a gay life. It's important for gay relationships to be recognised. Then men won't have to cruise parks for sex or be bludgeoned to death on Clapham Common by gay haters for cruising in dark places because they are scared to be seen being intimate with each other.
Did you ever think of having a pre-nup ?
John : If we ever split, we're rational. We'll talk about it. But I don't have as much money as Paul McCartney and I'm not married to a gold-digger !
Do you think you'll extend your family ?
John : I would love kids. I have a particular celebrity friend who says she will have a child with me. But there's nothing in the works just yet ! We would adopt a child too, probably a young child or teenager. Even when I worked on Live & Kicking, I loved being with kids. I'm a big kid myself. I am a big kid in a man's body.