Adele Roberts Radio 1 DJ has spoken honestly about how commercial radio sacrifices truth for sales when it comes sexuality and defends the BBC as one of the most open platforms she has ever worked for.
She also says she wished she had come out to her parents before Big Brother.
Speaking on National Student Pride’s ‘R U Coming Out’ panel, the early breakfast presenter Adele Roberts admitted that it is still hard to openly discuss being LGBT in radio, especially the commercial sector.
She stated that she felt sorry for radio personalities who feel they have to remain in the closet while working in radio. “There is a lot of people I have worked with in radio that are gay and weren’t out on air, and that just makes me feel a bit sad for them”.
Adele Roberts said commercial radio stations are often hesitant to allow open LGBT personalities on air as it can damage their family friendly image. “Sometimes in commercial radio you can’t always be as honest as you want to. I don’t know whether it is to do with advertisers or the type of people they are trying to target, whether they think it’s a family station and being gay is not a family thing, which I think it is. Sometimes radio can be a bit old fashioned and the people that run the stations are born from a different time. That was one of my problems.”
The BBC have allowed Adele Roberts and other personalities such as Scott Mills to be open on air. “I think the BBC are just at the forefront of representation and letting young people know it’s ok, you’re not weird. I think the BBC really encourages that.”
After the panel Heat Radio DJ James Barr countered this speaking about his show on Heat Radio, praising the station for allowing him being out and camp on air. He said they were great as a station because he is able to talk about how ‘hot Will Young is’ and how his mum thinks one day, Will and James will get married.
National Student Pride, now in its 11th year, was back in London February 5th-7th at the University of Westminster and G-A-Y venues. The 2016 event featured panels on Coming Out with charity RUComingOut.com, Mental Health and discussed the impact of LGBT YouTubers, with YouTubers themselves.