Valerie Singleton, 81, is frustrated by an unfounded myth she had a three-year lesbian affair with Joan Amatrading
She has enjoyed an illustrious career in broadcasting, from Blue Peter to Nationwide to Radio 4’s PM programme and beyond.
But Valerie Singleton has long been frustrated by an unfounded myth that she had a torrid three-year lesbian affair with Joan Armatrading.
Now the 81-year-old presenter has pleaded with the singer to speak out and denounce the persistent rumour.
‘She must’ve heard of it. Why doesn’t she stand up and say it’s absolute rubbish?’ Ms Singleton says in an outspoken interview with The Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine today.
The rumours began 40 years ago after Ms Singleton interviewed Ms Armatrading for a current affairs show. Despite consistently denying any relationship – and even admitting in an interview with The Mail on Sunday in 2008 that she actually slept with a male member of Ms Armatrading’s band – rumours of the relationship continue.
Asked if she thinks the false stories harmed her love life, Ms Singleton concedes: ‘It might have done. How many people thought, “It’s not worth asking her out?” ’
In part to end the rumours, Ms Singleton has previously come clean about a string of affairs with men, including one with her Blue Peter co-presenter Peter Purvis. ‘I was fed up with everybody thinking I was gay. So I thought, it’s time to put the record straight,’ she tells Event.
‘I was fed up with looking at Wikipedia and finding I’ve lived with Joan Armatrading when I’ve only met the bloody woman twice. Ridiculous!’
West Indian-born Ms Armatrading, 67, reportedly entered a civil partnership with her girlfriend Maggie Butler in 2011
The candid admissions about her love life did not, however, meet with the approval of Biddy Baxter, the famously strait-laced producer of Blue Peter.
‘Biddy has never sent me a Christmas card since then, to which I would say, “Have you spent 30 years being accused of being gay?” Everybody goes, “Oh, she’s gay, isn’t she?” No she’s not. Anything but.’
West Indian-born Ms Armatrading, 67, reportedly entered a civil partnership with her girlfriend Maggie Butler in 2011.
She could not be reached for comment last night.