Ian Thorpe to ‘reveal truth about his sexuality’ in tell-all interview with Michael Parkinson

The bizarrely advertised show is set to be aired in full on the TEN channel on Sunday 13 July

TV channel TEN’s ‘no limits’ interview between Sir Michael Parkinson and Ian Thorpe has been bizarrely advertised with a sensational cliff hanger, in which the audience are invited to find out whether or not the Australian swimmer is gay when they tune into the full programme on Sunday 13 July.

The Olympic swimmer’s sexuality has long been the subject of speculation and acts as the hook for the trailer of his conversation with the veteran talk show host.

Scroll Down To See The Video

"You've always said that you're not gay, is all of that true?" Sir Michael asks during the trailer, leaving a mildly uncomfortable-looking Thorpe shifting in his seat.

Viewers who wish to know the answer are encouraged to tune into the show, aired in full at the start of next week.

Thorpe has, however, consistently denied that he is gay. Writing in his autobiography, This Is Me, he said: "I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight.

"The thing that I find hurtful about it is that people are questioning my integrity and what I say. That's the only part I find hurtful, that this is something I would be embarrassed about and that I would hide. ... I try to explain it but I don't know either, but I think it's because I don't fit into the typical stereotype of what a straight athlete would be in the past."

Thorpe is also set to discuss his battle with depression and his career.

"Ian Thorpe has always been near the top of my list to interview," Sir Michael said ahead of the TV show.

"The reasons are obvious. Not many athletes can claim to be the best of all time. Ian can. The story of a boy who was a teenage World Champion, conquered the world and then seemed to give it all away is a fascinating and intriguing one.

Ian Thorpe and friend sitting behind Sir Michael Parkinson at Wimbledon last week Ian Thorpe and friend sitting behind Sir Michael Parkinson at Wimbledon last week "His fight against depression offers a unique insight into the darker side of celebrity and success.

"What fascinates me most about Ian is that apart from the very beginning of his career, he never seemed to enjoy and celebrate his success,” he continues. “It will be interesting to find out the reasons why."

However, the decision to use the question of Thorpe's sexuality as the lead for the trailer, rather than his career, has attracted some criticism online:

Thorpe, one of Australia’s most successful Olympians in history, has broken 22 world records, won five golds, three silvers and one bronze throughout his career.

He is also the proud possessor of 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals, 11 World Championship titles, and nine Pan Pacific titles.

Earlier this year, Thorpe was admitted to a rehabilitation clinic after he was found disorientated in a street in Sydney.

Police, called to investigate reports of someone breaking into a car, took him to hospital for assessment, after which he was admitted to the private facility.

His manager, James Erskine, said at the time that the athlete had been affected by a combination of anti-depressants and painkillers and had mistaken the vehicle for a friend’s car.

“The owner of the car… called the police,” he said. “They realised it was Ian Thorpe. They realised he was disoriented… He is in rehab for depression.”

The incident followed a spell in hospital the following week. Australian tabloids reported that Thorpe was receiving treatment of depression and alcoholism – problems which the swimmer, 31, revealed in his 2012 autobiography.

Erskine initially denied these reports, saying he underwent a shoulder operation after injuring himself in a fall.

Ian Thorpe: The Parkinson Interview airs on Sunday July 13 at 6:30pm on TEN.

Read More: Thorpe's Swimming Career Blighted By Hospital Bug
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources Officer

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager - London - £40,000 + Bonus

£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own