Tom Allen was heckled by troll at his own gig for being gay – and it backfired spectacularly

A photo of comedian Tom Allen wearing a black suit, white shirt and black and white patterned tie as he atends the British Academy Film Awards. (Getty)

Comedian Tom Allen has shared how he turned the tables on a homophobic heckler at a gig in Belfast. And it’s chaotic. 

The comic, who hosts the post-mortem talk show Apprentice: You’re Fired!, explained how a middle-aged woman interrupted his set about being gay. 

“I was talking about the experience of being gay and living with my parents.” He told Belfast Telegraph. “A woman in the front row turned her chair around, so she had her back to me. She was clearly drunk.”

Allen is known for talking about his sexuality at gigs, and has publicly responded to trolls on social media who have told him to “stop mentioning” it.

Apparently, through nerves, he asked her: “You alright there? I don’t think you’re going to get a very good view if you’re facing the wrong way.”

He recounted how she then turned back around “furious” and shouted “my son is worth 10 of you”.

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“I was perplexed,” he continued. ‘”But do you know how much I cost?’ I said, trying to seem like I might be a sex worker on the side and also trying to pretend that I was still fun and confident. She stood up pointing, ‘My son, he is worth 10 of you.'”

Tom Allen reflected on how people were telling her to “shut up” but he couldn’t recall saying “anything offensive”. 

“All I could tell was that she was very proud of her son, what mother isn’t, and that she was furious that I was talking about being gay.”

Tom Allen performing a gig. (Carla Speight/Getty)
Tom Allen performing at one of his gigs. (Getty/Carla Speight)

However, karma soon came back around when she “abruptly fell off her chair” as the audience “burst out laughing and cheered”. Adding: “I feel sorry for her.”

“None of it made sense,” he concluded, explaining how she was promptly escorted out. And, in the wise words of Taylor Swift, all’s well that ends well for Allen. 

A group of rugby players in the audience that night took him out afterwards. “They got me absolutely hammered so that I didn’t really remember the strange experience with the odd person at the gig.

“And they proved that despite the negative experiences, there are always more good ones to celebrate than bad.”

Allen has historically had a complex relationship when it comes to speaking up against bullies. “I didn’t say anything to the homophobic bullies. I just buried it,” he told inews about his time at school.

“I dressed up like Julie Walters and did an Alan Bennett monologue at the school cabaret. People now say, ‘I bet that showed them!’ No! No it didn’t. Nothing changed.”

And when it came to talking about his sexuality on the comedy scene, it was an uphill battle early on in his career. 

“When I first went on television people said, ‘Why do you talk about being gay all the time?’ It was because, in the clubs, I felt I had to talk about it because otherwise the audience would whisper it, use it as a tool against me. So I chose to be brazen with it, to own my sexuality,” he continued. 

“People wouldn’t let me talk about it for the first half of my life! They say, ‘You’ve got gay marriage now so everything’s OK, isn’t it?’ But it’s not like there’s a switch that’s been flipped in me.

“You can still carry that sense of shame. That internalised homophobia.”

Tom Allen continues his tour Completely in 2023. Tickets are available here.