Tom Jones is under fire for his controversial comments on homosexuality, after he spoke of his past ‘paranoia’ about working with gay men.

The Welsh-born singer, 75, looked back on his career in music and recalled his nerves about working with ‘homosexuals’. His comments provoked a backlash on Twitter, with Tom pleading with fans to bear in mind the historical ‘context’.

In an interview with The Big Issue, he said: “I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but when I met the producer Joe Meek, that threw me off a bit. Because he was a homosexual.

“I thought, wait a minute, is the London scene, the people who run British show business – are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because if so, I’m going back to Cardiff.”

He continued: “When I signed with Decca and Peter Sullivan became my manager… he said the same thing Joe Meek said: ‘Tell the boys to pack their gear up, I want to talk to you myself.’

“I said: ‘You’re not one of these queer fellows are you?’ And he said: ‘What are you on about?’ I became paranoid, you see.”

The Delilah singer added: “I wondered, was that required to make a hit record? But then I got into it and I realised no, it just so happened that the first guy to record me was a homosexual producer.

“Once I got over the shock of that, and realised it wasn’t true, most people were normal. Well, I shouldn’t put it like that. Homosexuals are normal, it’s not that they’re not normal. It’s just that they are what they are.”

The controversial comments provoked a backlash on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

The singer replied to criticism, urging fans to bear in mind that this took place in the context of the 50s and 60s:

 

And many fans expressed their support: