Tan France pulls out of visit to home town after flashbacks of Doncaster racist attacks

Queer Eye star Tan France pulled out of a visit to his home town of Doncaster while filming a new documentary – after being haunted by racist abuse and attacks he suffered as a child.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 2:14 pm

The TV host was filming for new BBC documentary Beauty and the Bleach, exploring colourism in the UK.

He was shown heading up the M1 motorway towards Doncaster where he used to live as a child but abandoned the visit to confront his past after suffering flashbacks of the abuse he suffered as a child, including being attacked by a gang of grown men which he says ‘left him for dead.’

Tan, 39, moved to America after growing up in Doncaster because of the horrific racial abuse he experienced as a child.

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Tan France has opened up about the horrifying racism he suffered in Doncaster as a child. (Photo: BBC).

After driving to South Yorkshire to face his childhood memories head on, Tan reflected on why he struggled to step out of the car.

It was the first time in 15 years the stylist had returned to the UK, but he pulled out of a visit to his hometown due to the race hate he suffered in his past.

Fighting back tears, Tan recalled how he couldn't tell his family about the scary attack because he worried they would be "angry".

"It was the first time I had to go to school on my own, and these men - they were men to me, definitely over 18, decided they were going to chase me and kick the s**t out of me," he told the cameras.

"I was five, I was left alone afterwards," Tan continued as he broke down in tears and covered his face with his hands.

"I knew the warnings to run and find a woman - and obviously you hear the calls coming so you start to s**t yourself.

"These f***ers are faster than me, I was just a child. I don't remember what happened I just knew that someone kicked me from behind.

"I don't know if I passed out but I realised I was on the floor and I had to get home, and I didn't tell my family because I knew they would be angry that I didn't run fast enough.

"My dad would ask me, 'Why didn't you fight back' or 'why didn't you run faster?' but as a five-year-old you just want to be able to go home and tell your family that someone kicked the s**t out of you."

During the new documentary, Tan also revealed how he bleached his skin at the age of just nine years old, after being 'concerned' about his skin colour 'since the day he was born'.

He added: “As an Asian, gay Muslim I was desperate to get away.

“Growing up in Doncaster I always felt unsafe. I thought if I had whiter skin I wouldn't be called a P*** every day.

'I used to wake up thinking, "What trouble is my skin going to get me into today?" It was about survival. Being able to get home without being attacked.'

Tan France: Beauty and the Bleach is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer