British screenwriter Alan Bennett refused to reveal his sexuality for most of his career so he wasn't put in a "pigeonhole" by critics.

The History Boys creator avoided discussing his personal relationships when asked by journalists, and has only opened up about his civil partnership with Rupert Thomas in recent years.

In a new interview with BBC Radio 4 in celebration of his upcoming 80th birthday, Bennett explained that he never wanted to be branded 'gay' by his fans or the press.

He says, "My objection to people knowing more about one's private life was that I didn't want to be put in a pigeonhole. I didn't want to be labelled as gay and that was it. I wanted to be my own man."