The Welsh star was at the centre of an online storm following the publication of his interview with British magazine The Big Issue, in which he talked about working with gay producer Joe Meek.

"I was ready for most aspects of the music industry but when I met the producer Joe Meek, that threw me off a bit," he told the publication. "Because he was a homosexual. I thought, wait a minute, is the London scene, the people who run British show business - are there a lot of homosexuals involved here? Because if so, I'm going back to Cardiff... When I signed with Decca and Peter Sullivan became my manager... I said, 'You're not one of these queer fellows are you?' And he said, 'What are you on about?' I became paranoid, you see..."

Tom's remarks sparked a backlash among some fans, with many going online to criticise the singer, but Tom has now spoken out to clarify his comments, insisting he was talking about an era in the past when the gay community was not so widely accepted.

"Context! The story is about knowledge/attitudes in the 50s & 60s. it's called History!" he tweeted.

Tom has also received support from gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas, who tweeted, "I can 100 per cent say this article reflects a time gap and having met @RealSirTomJones (sic) he is in NO WAY homophobic."

Gareth, who was Britain's first openly gay rugby player, has been the focus of a long-running movie project involving Mickey Rourke, who had hoped to bring his story to the big screen in a biopic.