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Hear’Say star Noel Sullivan once turned to ‘self harm’ after being told to ‘shut up’ about his sexuality

The Hear'Say singer said that staying silent cost him his emotional well-being

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Has it really been 20 years since Noel Sullivan, Danny Foster, Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw and Myleene Klass were put together by TV show Popstars to form Hear’Say?

A lot has changed in the two decades since Pure and Simple, the band’s chart-topping debut single, was released.

One of the biggest and most significant changes we’ve seen has been the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2014.

Noel with his Hear’Say bandmates (Credit: YouTube)

Hear’Say star Noel Sullivan told to ‘hide his sexuality’

It’s hard to believe that even this century our LGBTQ+ celebs and sports stars were told to hide their sexuality for the sake of their career.

Read more: Myleene Klass reveals miscarriage heartbreak

This is what Noel Sullivan previously admitted happened to him during his Hear’Say days. And, as a result, it left him so devastated he harmed himself.

In a 2017 Instagram post, paying tribute to his husband James, Noel revealed the pressures put on him to appear heterosexual as a naive 19 year old.

He said: “As a 19 year old I was told to shut up about my sexuality. If I wanted a career I had to be something else. Silent. It ruined me.”

Noel, who is now 41 and appeared on Pointless Celebrities tonight (October 16), went on to say that he suffered years of depression and self-abuse as a result of this.

It got to the point where it felt like I couldn’t speak out any more because my time in the spotlight had passed and I assumed no one would care.

And that no one was held accountable.

He continued: “It got to the point where it felt like I couldn’t speak out any more because my time in the spotlight had passed. I assumed no one would care.”

Noel said that he was fortunate enough to be able to find solace with family and his many theatre roles and credited them for helping him find himself.

What has Noel been up to since Hear’Say?

And he’s had a pretty impressive career treading the boards. He’s enjoyed roles in shows such as Fame, We Will Rock You and Flashdance.

He’s even flexed his acting muscles with TV roles in Gavin and Stacey and the second series of Ordinary Lies.

In 2019 he landed the role of Dewey Finn in the stage production of School of Rock, the role made famous by Jack Black in the original movie.

Noel as Dewey in School of Rock (Credit: YouTube)

Why did Noel gain two stone in weight?

Art didn’t come without pain, however, and Noel shocked fans when he revealed his two-stone weight gain for the show.

Speaking to Eamon and Ruth on This Morning back in August of that year, Noel revealed: “Because in the script there’s a lot of talk about the teacher being fat.

“You can’t do it with a fat suit, it would look really weird.

Read more: Kym Marsh steps back from TV after father’s devastating cancer diagnosis

“It’s live and you are right there. It’s a very physical show.”

More recently, Noel has been starring in the fitting How To Survive An Apocalypse at The Finborough Theatre in London.

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