John Barrowman finally explains why he exposed himself on 'Torchwood', saying it was 'to put people at ease'

John Barrowman says his behaviour has changed since he apologised in 2008. (Ian West/PA Images/Getty)
John Barrowman has explained why he exposed himself. (Ian West/PA Images/Getty)

John Barrowman has opened up on why he exposed himself on the set of Torchwood, claiming it was up to him to keep the cast entertained.

The Dancing On Ice judge has been at the centre of a furore about his behaviour on the set of the BBC drama in 2008, which came to light earlier this year after serious accusations of sexual harassment were made against his former co-star Noel Clarke.

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A 2014 video of Clarke talking about Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood at a convention emerged where he said Barrowman, who played Captain Jack Harkness, had exposed himself on set "every five seconds". Barrowman was subsequently dropped from various projects associated with the show.

Now he has told the Mail's Weekend magazine he exposed himself to keep the company's spirits up as lead actor.

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Speaking about the issue for what he said would be the first and last time, he explained: "As Captain Jack Harkness I was the star of Torchwood, so I felt it was down to me to lead the company and keep them entertained."

Adding that his intention was actually to make people feel more comfortable, he said of filming intimate scenes: "I'd be waiting in my trailer wearing just a robe with a sock over my parts. Then, if I were standing waiting to film a scene where I needed to be nude and someone came into view, I'd make a joke to put them and myself at ease.

"My actions were simply designed to defuse any potential awkwardness among the cast and crew."

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: John Barrowman attends The Sun Military Awards 2020 at Banqueting House on February 06, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
John Barrowman claims he was trying to entertain colleagues. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Barrowman, 54, insisted his only motivation was to keep up "a jokey atmosphere" and said there was no suggestion of it being sexual.

He went on that it would have been viewed as a prank if it had happened in the changing rooms after a rugby match and said that although people wouldn't expose themselves in an accountant's office, his job was "not a regular nine-to-five" and that behind-the-scenes costume changes took place in front of people all the time in his industry.

Although Barrowman insists he didn't mean to cause any offence with his jokes, he admitted he had changed his behaviour after an executive producer told him of a complaint and said that he needed to grow up.

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The star says he has been having therapy to cope with being cancelled by those he offended and has been apologetic for the effects of what he did but said that cancel culture could have a terrible effect on people's mental health.

He also said he thought he'd become "collateral damage to a much bigger story" after the allegations about Clarke emerged.

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