Queer actor Alan Cumming returns to host The Traitors US season two

Alan Cumming hosts The Traitors US.

The Traitors US season two arrives on Friday (12 January) for another star-studded season of mystery, murder and intrigue – all helmed by award-wining stage and screen actor Alan Cumming.

Season two of The Traitors US, streaming on Peacock, boasts a chaotic cast including Drag Race star Peppermint, former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow and Love Island winner Ekin-Su to name a few.

Much like the UK version, the US series takes place in a castle in the Scottish Highlands as the chosen Traitors attempt to hide their true identities while the Faithfuls scramble to vote them out each night at the fated round tables.

As put by Peacock, this show is not for the faint-hearted but rather a is “nail-biting psychological adventure in which treachery and deceit are the name of the game”.

Heated arguments, cunning subterfuge and heart-pounding challenges will all culminate in the lucky victors landing up to $250,000 in prize money.

As viewers buckle in for another season full of shocking twists and hilarious faux pas’, here’s everything you need to know about Scottish-American host Alan Cumming.

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Is Alan Cumming gay or bisexual?

Alan Cumming was born in 1965 in Aberfeldy in Scotland and after an acclaimed theatrical and film career in the UK, he moved to New York City at the end of the 1990s to set up his life in America.

During his skyrocketing career, the actor pursued two high-profile romances with women including an eight-year marriage to actress Hilary Lyon (Outlander) and a two-year relationship with British star Saffron Burrows.

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In the early 2000s, Cumming also had a six-year relationship with theatre director Nick Philippou that ended in 2003.

Alan Cumming is married to his partner Grant Shaffer

In 2005, Alan Cumming met his current husband and illustrator Grant Shaffer and the two had a civil ceremony in London in January 2007.

“Not only are we so happy to be able to celebrate our love for each other, but also to be able to do it in a country that properly recognises the rights of same-sex couples,” they said at the time, addressing the fact that US was yet to legalise same-sex marriage.

In 2012, they married for second time in the US to mark their five-year wedding anniversary and the historic ruling for same-sex marriage equality.

Grant Shaffer and husband Alan Cumming. (Bruce Glikas/WireImage)

The two have also professionally worked together. In 2017 they co-created the children’s book, The Adventures of Honey & Leon.

In a statement on his website, Cumming (who is most commonly referred to as bisexual) has addressed his relationship with labels.

“I think my sexuality and most people’s sexuality is grey. I am married to a man. I have a healthy sexual appetite and a healthy imagination. I also have an attraction to women, he wrote.

“I’ve never lost it, actually. I’ve always been attracted to both sexes, and whether I act on it or not is not anyone’s business, really. I’m not going to close myself off to the possibility of experience just because society says we must stick within these rigid boundaries.”

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Cumming was awarded an OBE for his activism for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community in 2009 but returned the OBE in 2023 after his eyes were “opened” to the “toxicity” of the British Empire.

Despite being a prominent LGBTQ+ celebrity, in 2021 Cumming told the Metro that he “really bored” of discussing his identity. “No straight person is ever asked when they knew they were straight,” he added.

What are his most iconic roles?

52-year-old Alana Cumming has enjoyed a decorated career, culminating in a BAFTA Award, a New York Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, and an Olivier Award.

The star is best known for his TV roles such as Eli Gold in The Good Wife, He also made history as the first queer actor to play a gay lead in a US network drama with 2018’s Instinct, which lasted for two seasons before it was cancelled.

In a post marking its end, Cumming wrote: “Because of Instinct millions of people will have seen a same-sex marriage portrayed for the first time and I hope we changed and opened some minds in the process.”

As for the stage, Cumming won a Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in a 19998 production of Cabaret. Most recently he has served as co-producer on Tony-winning Broadway show A Strange Loop.

The first three episodes of The Traitors US will be available to stream on Peacock on 12 January.

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