Strictly Come Dancing star announces he is gay

He admits he's "swerved" the issue

| Updated:

Former Strictly Come Dancing star and Team GB swimmer Mark Foster has revealed that he’s gay.

The 47-year-old, who appeared on the BBC show in 2008, opened up about his sexuality for the first time during an interview with The Guardian.

And the Essex-born celebrity admitted that he’d “tiptoed around the issue for so long”.

Mark enjoyed a massively successful career as a swimmer, setting a number of records and winning countless medals.

But the one challenge he couldn’t seem to overcome was telling people about his true sexuality.

He told the newspaper: “It’s not like I’ve been pushed to come out. I’ve just swerved and swerved.

“Telling half-truths and not being my true self is only hurting me. I’m 47, a middle-aged man, and I’m no longer competing.

Read more: Strictly fans double take at surprise Beyonce appearance!

“I’m not the first gay sportsman to come out. Gareth Thomas and Tom Daley led the way.”

Mark’s revelation may come as a surprise to his female fans, who were doubtless impressed when he regularly showed off his athletic figure while competing on Strictly.

But credit where it’s due – he performed pretty well on the dancefloor, too, surviving until week six with his professional partner Hayley Holt.

Olympic diver Daley, 23, married his partner, US screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, in May of this year.

Read more: Two more I’m A Celeb stars at centre of ‘homophobic’ tweets probe

Dustin, 43, has previously spoken out in support of gay sports stars, saying more should come out.

He told the Press Association: “It’s incredibly brave to come out. I understand that for some people that’s difficult.

“They need to keep their personal life personal and that’s their choice. I don’t begrudge them for that.

“To those who do come out and make that brave act, you’re saving lives. They truly are.”

Another Strictly star, professional dancer Ian Waite, married his boyfriend Drew Merriman earlier this year.