Sir Cliff Richard has used a candid appearance on an Australian talk show to address long-running speculation about his sexuality.
The 73-year-old Summer Holiday singer, who has never married, asked the show’s host: “If I was gay would it make any difference?”
In the interview for A Current Affair, Sir Cliff revealed that rumours about his sexuality hurt him and his family when he was younger, but said the gossip “doesn’t really matter to me anymore”.
“I have got gay friends. Most people have gay friends,” he said. “If I was gay would it make any difference? Would you not come to my concerts because I was gay? I hope not”.
The veteran singer, who has sold 250 million records since his chart debut in 1958, has been the subject of rumours about his private life for decades.
When asked by the show’s host if his friendship with Grease star Olivia Newton-John would ever lead to marriage, Sir Cliff replied: “Let’s face it, we all loved Olivia. She had that effect”.
Sir Cliff went on to reveal that he “never felt that it was the right time” to get married.
“I just didn’t get married,” he said. “I can do the things I want to do. I can go and meet my fans all over the world. I don't have a responsibility because I always felt that marriage would be the major responsibility of your life, and if a child came along, a multi-major responsibility. No getting out of that one."
Sir Cliff also addressed his continued youthful looks, which have earned him the title the Peter Pan of pop, and said his appearance could be down to “extreme good luck” because he has never undergone plastic surgery.
“When people say to me, have you had anything done, I say yes, I had these lines put in because I wanted to look older.
"I did try Botox but that didn't really work for me. I've seen people with Botox - they look fantastic.”
The Mistletoe and Wine star added that he is proud that he never adopted the lifestyle of a traditional rock and roll star.
"I've never wanted to trash a hotel room. My band always used to say, Cliff never trashes a hotel room.”