Louis Smith

Gym­nast, Strictly Come Danc­ing win­ner and for­mer Tum­ble judge

GT (UK) - - NAKED -

Louis! Wel­come back to GT. How was Tum­ble? It was re­ally, re­ally good fun! I didn’t want to be too crit­i­cal with the con­tes­tants, be­cause they’d been graft­ing their back­side off for eight weeks, and if you go out and get ab­so­lutely slammed, you’re gonna feel like you wasted your time. I wouldn’t want them to feel like shit. We can all sing, we can all dance. We might be bad, but we can do it. Gym­nas­tics not many peo­ple can do. Are you sad it’s been axed? A lit­tle bit sad – just be­cause I had such good fun on the show, be­ing in the judge’s seat as op­posed to be­ing the con­tes­tant. I met some re­ally great peo­ple and had a lot of fun. But it is what it is, it’s en­ter­tain­ment. It’s a very hard and dan­ger­ous sport, it’s tough to fit that into a few weeks. Why do you think you’ve gained such a gay fol­low­ing? I think when I ask peo­ple, “Why do a lot of peo­ple think I’m gay?” they say, “Oh, you look like you take care of your­self, look after your hair, your beard’s all nice, you don’t talk like an Es­sex lad [changes to Es­sex ac­cent] goin’ on about BAN­GIN’ GIRLS.” Do guys come on to you? I’ve never been hit on by a guy. There was one time where – it was ac­tu­ally more funny than it was awk­ward – a guy came up and started speak­ing to me and was VERY for­ward. Any­thing I said, he’d turn into a sex­ual in­nu­endo. You think, like, “Gay guys can get away with so much!” If I were to say that to a girl, she’d slap me. Have you been sent any dick pics? Luck­ily no. But un­for­tu­nately, I’ve never had any tit pics, ei­ther… I’m pretty laid back. Like, if a guy went to go kiss me, that would be past my limit, but apart from that I’m easy. What’s it like be­ing fan­cied by so many peo­ple? It’s flat­ter­ing. No one goes into gym­nas­tics to be­come fa­mous and the whole rea­son why I’ve got recog­ni­tion all stems from gym­nas­tics. Whether my fans are gay, straight, women, men, dogs

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with Twit­ter ac­counts, I’m so grate­ful for it all. Does your mum look at your photo shoots? She’s got Google Alerts on lock­down! “I see Louis in the pa­per for do­ing this or that!” She knows what I’ve done be­fore I do! Is gym­nas­tics gay friendly? I think it has all the mak­ings to be. Es­pe­cially in terms of com­ing out and be­ing com­fort­able with it. There are some sports out there where it’s prob­a­bly much harder, like team-based sports. That’s harder for peo­ple to be more open about their sex­u­al­ity. Should foot­ball get its act to­gether? When I watch the Premier­ship, it doesn’t feel like watch­ing a sport. You’ve got ath­letes, you’ve got sports­men and then you’ve got foot­ballers. Look at the type of peo­ple who go and watch foot­ball. At gym­nas­tics, peo­ple bring their fam­i­lies, they sit down and cheer and en­joy what they’re see­ing. Foot­ball fans en­joy watch­ing their team like yob­bos. Is speak­ing about th­ese is­sues im­por­tant to you? I’m a very out­spo­ken per­son. I don’t like see­ing peo­ple get­ting bul­lied, es­pe­cially be­ing some­one who is mixed-race. If I’ve got a voice, it’s like a re­spon­si­bil­ity to say some­thing. Ev­ery­one like me has ex­pe­ri­enced racism, it hap­pens, whether it’s in terms of de­prived op­por­tu­ni­ties or some­thing else. Thank­fully, I had an older brother who took a lot of the stick. “Don’t mess with the Smiths!”

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