Radio host Ryan Bridge was filling in on New Zealand’s The AM Show when a casual remark abruptly outed him to the show’s listeners.
The moment occurred on Thursday’s broadcast, as the morning crew was discussing collector’s items. Bridge was asked if he collected anything, to which co-host Mark Richardson laughingly suggested, “Ex-boyfriends?”
Cue the awkward laughing.
Richardson and co-host Amanda Gillies continued giggling for a few seconds until they realized what had happened.
“Yes, it’s true, I’m gay,” said Bridge after a few seconds of uncomfortable stammering. “There we go, it’s out there.”
We can’t embed the video here due to geo-blocking, but you can watch the clip here.
Apparently, while Bridge isn’t closeted to his family or friends (like Richardson), he hadn’t come out to his audience yet.
After composing himself, Bridge addressed the elephant in the room about half an hour later.
“If you caught what was said before, it’s not something I’ve tried to hide, it’s something all my friends and family have known about for a very long time,” he told the audience. “The reason I haven’t chosen to share it with you at home, with listeners on my radio show is just that, I don’t know, it’s not that interesting really, is it?”
“It’s just my private business and my life and not something I have necessarily tried to hide but it’s just not something that I’ve bothered or cared to share with the world, with you at home, but it’s out there, so that is that,” added Bridge. “Thank you very much to the people who have been getting in touch in the last few minutes. It’s quite heartening.”
He also displayed tremendous grace in addressing his colleague’s faux pas.
“I wanted to say that Mark didn’t do this on purpose,” Bridge told the viewers. “It wasn’t like he was being mean, or he was trying to get me to say something I didn’t want to say. it was an innocent, honest mistake.”
A clearly chagrined and contrite Richardson was effusive in his apology.
“In three years of doing this job, this is as bad as I’ve ever felt,” said Richardson. “I say a lot of stuff on this show, and I mean it, and some of it walks the line. I just want to say I’m sorry. It’s because obviously I love you so much as a person.”
“Just me being a smartass and trying to poke fun at you for a comedic moment on the show has led to this, and I’m dreadfully sorry,” he concluded.
Gillies chimed in telling Bridge, “You know we love you to bits, completely.”
“The way you’ve handled this with immense class – just beautifully,” she added. “Makes us love you even more.”