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Australian Idol: Dicko offered to help Anthony Callea hide his homosexuality

Australian Idol judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson reveals he offered to help Anthony Callea hide his homosexuality for the sake of his career in 2004 – but the singer denied he was gay

Former Australian Idol judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson has revealed how he offered to help Anthony Callea hide his homosexuality at the beginning of his career in 2004.

Dicko, 57, had told Anthony, who was the runner-up on Australian Idol in 2004, he could assist with keeping his sexuality private if that was what he wanted.

But the singer, who was just 21, denied he was gay at the time.

‘We all knew Anthony was gay and I remember saying to him “Look, mate, we’re going to be your record company and we can help you live the life you want and shag who you want and keep a public persona for your career if that’s what you choose,”‘ Dicko said on the TV Reload podcast.

‘It wasn’t our first rodeo’: Australian Idol judge Ian ‘Dicko’ Dickson (pictured) has revealed he offered to help Anthony Callea hide his homosexuality for the sake of his career in 2004 – but the singer denied he was gay

‘Virtually every boy band ever has got one gay member and one ugly one. Its not like its our first rodeo!’ the music executive added.

Dicko claimed that Anthony had insisted he was straight.

‘He said, “How very dare you? I’m not gay.” But we gave him that option and he wasn’t ready for it,’ he explained.

Private: The 57-year-old revealed he told Anthony (pictured), who was the runner-up in 2004 season of Australian Idol, he could keep his sexuality private if he choose to but the singer denied he was gay

Private: The 57-year-old revealed he told Anthony (pictured), who was the runner-up in 2004 season of Australian Idol, he could keep his sexuality private if he choose to but the singer denied he was gay

‘At the end of the day it’s not my job to out someone. I was trying to reach out.’

Dicko continued: ‘Anthony, I think, had a different set of challenges for his coming out. He had quite a conservative Italian family with an old nonna that he would have felt very conscious about. People come to this realisation in their own time.’ 

‘We did reach out [about his sexuality] and I was probably a bit forceful a couple of times with Anthony and that’s something that I shouldn’t have done. It’s no ones business really,’ he concluded.

'Anthony I think had a different set of challenges for his coming out. He had quite a conservative Italian family with an old Nonna that he would have felt very conscious about. People come to this realisation in their own time,' Dicko said.

‘Anthony I think had a different set of challenges for his coming out. He had quite a conservative Italian family with an old Nonna that he would have felt very conscious about. People come to this realisation in their own time,’ Dicko said.

Anthony, 38, confirmed his sexuality in 2007, three years after placing second to Casey Donovan on season two of Australian Idol.

He told fans via his website: ‘For some, “coming out” isn’t a big issue. For me it was.

‘Others say you should just be honest with yourself. Well, that is easier said than done.’

In 2014, he married actor Tim Campbell in New Zealand after seven years of dating.

The following year, Anthony explained they couldn’t want to wait for Australia to legalise same-sex marriage so tied the knot in New Zealand instead.

‘We went, “Stuff it, we’re going to go to New Zealand and we’re going to get married there”,’ he said.

‘I feel as though we’re more progressive than our own government so I’m not going to wait for them.’

Wedding bells: Anthony confirmed his sexuality in 2007 after years in the spotlight. In 2014, he married actor Tim Campbell (right) in New Zealand after seven years of dating

Wedding bells: Anthony confirmed his sexuality in 2007 after years in the spotlight. In 2014, he married actor Tim Campbell (right) in New Zealand after seven years of dating

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