1 Apr 2010 6
by our celebrity correspondent Neil Spredham
The Wirral showbiz world was brought to its knees this week as celebrity DJ and campaigner Pete Pric revealed that he is gay.
Pric, known for his charitable work throughout the region, leaked the news to stunned reporters on Monday at a gala premiere of his latest panto, Canal Street Memories, at New Brighton's historic Floral Pavilion.
Onlookers, some of them pensioners, gasped in incredulity as Pric, 86, dropped the bombshell shortly before taking to the stage. One, a Mrs. Olive-Ann Breathe, of Menstrual Avenue, Egremont, could hardly contain her disappointment at the news. 'Pete has long been a shining beacon of masculinity in a tawdry world of flagrant homosexuality', she cried into a sodden Kleenex. 'Now, I may have to boycott the Floral and his new pantomime altogether'.
Diego Vigilante, 109, is another whose preconceptions have been shattered. 'I've been a fan of Pete's since his rendition of Elton John's ''Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me'' went into the charts in 1982,' he grimaced involuntarily. 'I can hardly believe he bats for the other team'.
Pric, whose tenure as outspoken DJ for local radio station KYMC came to an end recently, has long been an rigorous campaigner and is known for his charity work for local rollerblading groups, nocturnal hiking associations and 'Save the Bear' wildlife societies.
However, in the wake of his recent revelations, many of these groups have turned their backs on the celebrity in order to distance themselves from any fall-out. Even stalwart showbiz pals such as Claire Sweeney and Ken Dodd have refused to support the embattled former DJ, claiming that their fan-base includes many impressionable teenagers who may forswear heterosexual relationships in light of Pric's declaration.
'Me ma is dead against any sort of bum-botherage,' insisted Sweeney from her palatial home in Neswall's fashionable footballer ghetto today. 'I feel sorry for Pete but if he thinks the good people of the Wirral will tolerate his gay lifestyle, he's in for a huge come-uppance'.
Reports are emerging today that sponsors for the panto are withdrawing their support, with brands such as Man-tuna Tea and refrigeration giants, Kevineater, removing their names from the Floral Pavilion web site.
The embattled star was seen today secretly entering his interior designer partner's abode via the rear entrance, looking very down-in-the-mouth.