Renowned British television personality Denise Welch recently fuelled speculation about her sexuality following a striking appearance in a play, where she donned a fiery red corset. This event ignited conversations and rumours concerning her sexual orientation, with some questioning whether she identifies as gay or non-binary.
As a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, Welch has enjoyed a successful career spanning several decades. Audiences have seen her in a variety of roles, notably in popular series such as “Coronation Street” and “Waterloo Road,” as well as her regular appearances on the panel of “Loose Women.” Beyond her television endeavours, she is an accomplished author with publications that include her memoirs “The Unwelcome Visitor” and “Starting Over.” Moreover, Welch is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness.
Though she has never publicly labeled herself as gay or non-binary, Welch is a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Her marital history includes three unions with men, and she is a mother to two sons, Matthew and Louis, from her marriage with actor Tim Healy. Her current marriage to artist Lincoln Townley has brought a stepson, Lewis, into her life.
The speculation around Welch’s gender identity seems to have originated from a series of social media posts. Since April 2021, several Twitter users have humorously referred to Welch as a “non-binary icon,” sparking a running joke online. The origins of this jest are unclear, but it appears to be a benign spoof. Welch herself addressed these claims on her podcast “Juicy Crack” in April 2023, revealing a moment of confusion when her son Matty Healy, frontman of the band The 1975, questioned the online assertions regarding her being non-binary.
Her presence at the British LGBT Awards in 2021 underscored her commitment to celebrating the achievements within the LGBTQ+ community. However, Welch found herself at the centre of controversy in 2022 when she posted a misguided tweet during HIV Awareness Week, questioning why a heterosexual woman would need an HIV test. She later issued a heartfelt apology for her remarks, acknowledging their potentially harmful impact and expressing that the experience was a learning curve.
Additionally, Welch has often spoken in defence of her late father, Vin, who performed as a drag queen named Raquel. Despite his drag act, he was a straight man, and Welch has highlighted his deep affection for the gay community.
Turning to her personal life, Denise Welch is presently married to Lincoln Townley, who transitioned from a career in public relations to become a successful artist. Their relationship began while Welch was still married to her second husband, which she later confessed was a low point for her. The couple wed in Portugal in July 2013 after two years of courtship. Despite a significant age difference, Welch and Townley’s marriage is depicted as a harmonious and mutually supportive union, with both attributing their personal strength and inspiration to each other.
Prior to her marriage with Townley, Welch was married to actor David Easter from 1983 to 1988, a relationship which ended without children. Her subsequent marriage to Tim Healy in 1988 produced two sons, both of whom have pursued careers in music. This marriage ended in separation in 2012 and divorce in 2016, after 24 years together.