I’m A Celebrity star Tristan MacManus opens up about keeping big ‘secret’

Former Studio 10 host Tristan MacManus has opened up about keeping his dancing career a secret over fears people would speculate about his sexuality.

The TV presenter, 41, who is married to Australian actress Tahyna MacManus (nee Tozzi), discussed the “embarrassment” he carried while privately practising dance when he was in a football team, in a scene to air on Tuesday’s episode of Channel 10’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! 

MacManus was born and raised in the small town of Bray, Ireland, where he participated in ballroom dancing competitions.

“I finished competitive dancing because I hurt my knee, and I got to an age where I was embarrassed by it,” MacManus said.

“I happened to be good at something that wasn’t a good thing to be good at. It just wasn’t what you did where I was from.

“The town I grew up in was very much a tough town. Manly men. So being a ballroom dancer in that scenario wasn’t a very comfortable situation to be in. I kept it a secret for an awful long time.”

MacManus said the sentiment in his hometown was that dancers were gay – commentary he began to “believe”.

“A lot of the things people were saying about dancers, I believed a lot of that as well, [like] who you had to be, what type of person you were, if you were gay,” he said.

“And I knew the people I danced with, I really liked them and wanted to be around then, and I felt embarrassed that I didn’t defend my friends in that way.”

In 2011, MacManus became a dancing partner on the US version of Dancing With The Stars, which saw him paired with Pamela Anderson in 2012 before he later quit the show in 2013.

He later featured on the UK show Strictly Come Dancing from 2014 until 2016.

MacManus, who married Tahyna in 2013, settled in Australia in 2014.

He was announced as a judge on Australia’s Dancing With The Stars for two seasons on Network Ten from 2019, before the rights were snapped up by Channel 7 from 2021.

He went on to co-host Studio 10 alongside Sarah Harris for three years until it was axed in late 2023.

The former dancer is now a sideline reporter for the A-League at the network.

MacManus shares three children with his wife – daughter Echo Isole, born in 2016, son Oisin Lir, born in 2019, and son Tadhg, born in 2021.

I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! continues Wednesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10

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