In Quotes

Derek Jacobi’s mom thought gay was a phase. Tell that to Richard Clifford, his partner of 43 years

Derek Jacobi & Richard Clifford

“I knew I was gay very early on, although it wasn’t called gay back then. I knew that I wasn’t into girls in the way that I should be. I dated girls, and we sat in the back row of the cinema, and I did all that I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I confessed to my mother while I was at university and she very typically and sweetly said: ‘All boys go through this stage.’ I was a loner for years, but I’ve been with my partner [Richard Clifford] for 43 years, which is quite an achievement. It remains a stable and loving relationship. It was another piece of luck in my life.”Vicious & I, Claudius star Derek Jacobi, writing about how his sexuality affected his life and career. In a new wide-spanning essay penned for The Telegraph, the 82-year-old actor reflects on his life, the COVID-19 pandemic, his long friendship with Vicious co-star Ian McKellen and why he’ll never quit acting.