HomeLGBT History1985. Television: Blue Peter drops gay presenter


1985. Television: Blue Peter drops gay presenter — 15 Comments

  1. Sundin unfortunately is one who seems to have gotten a bum rap as far as his legacy goes.

    There is a clip of him on YouTube doing a Blue Peter interview — and he doesn’t seem half bad. He was from the north, so he obviously didn’t have the London accent:


    And he had talent. There is also a vid of him there in a TV musical dance number from “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”:


    Young actors without older mentors seem doomed for failure. Michael’s problems started in 1985 — around the time that Rock Hudson died of AIDS — when public fear and hysteria was soaring.

    Wonder if he palled around with any of those other BBC “shorties” of the time — Matthew Waterhouse and Simon Gipps-Kent.

  2. I am in the age group that watched Blue Peter during this period. I don’t recall him as being one of my favourite presenters. He always seemed wooden to me at the time. Although it never occurred to me to take the step of writing into complain.

    I too remember his death being mentioned on the programme. I thought he’d died of cancer for many years. Although I notice that his Wikipedia article mentions his family didn’t want it to be known he’d died if AIDS.

    In many respects it is a pity that he was not given the chance to try out other types of programmes.

  3. I was visiting a partner of a friend of mine who was on a ward at St Marys Hospital, Paddington.
    This handsome young man joined us and asked if we would like to see his book of newspaper clippings and reviews.
    It was only then that I realised it was Mr Sundin. I found him utterley charming and very handsome. It is one of my treasured memorys. A very nice young man.

    • I think it was so tragic that someone obviously so talented and nice should have been taken from us at only 28 years of age. How horribly cruel!

    • Me too. Michael was the right presenter at the wrong time in my opinion. The 1980’s were a very cruel time for gay people. The government created fear and loathing of the gay community with their frightening and over-the-top AIDS “information” campaigns. Michael was a complete inspiration to me and I will never forget him. R.I.P Michael Sundin.

  4. Michael was a really great guy and super fit medal winning trampolinist whose life was cut short too early.
    Although the fact that the cancer that took him was AIDS related was not discussed at the time unless you lived through the eighties you can how no idea of the anti gay prejudice and rhetoric of the era.
    I attended his funeral in Gateshead with the renowned writer Michael Wilcox and many of Michael Sundin’s friends. Michael Wilcox mentions it in his book “Outlaw in The Hills.”
    Having known Michael since he was seventeen I put no credence in the “rumours” that he had one been a rent boy. Rubbish!
    The best wOrd to describe Michael was bubbly.
    He was a handsome man who had been working in the theatrical business since sixteen.
    He had a really engaging personality and was friendly, gregarious, helpful and kind.
    His mistake was to fall for someone he had met in America at a time when nobody was aware of the dreadful disease that was emerging.
    His problem was compounded by the viscous homophobia and discrimination that existed In the 1980s.
    A truly lovely guy taken far too soon.

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