Ex-footballer Colton Underwood, who featured on the Season 14 of The Bachelorette in the US, and then Bachelor in Paradise, before going on to be the star of Season 23 of The Bachelor, has come out as gay in an emotional interview.

It’s a huge bombshell from someone who has been such a prolific mainstay of the Bachie franchise over the past couple of the years, but also one that’s sure to lead to a much happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. Hell yeah.

“Obviously this year’s been a lot for a lot of people, and it’s probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from and putting off in their lives,” Underwood said in an interview on Good Morning America.

“For me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay.

“I came to terms with that that earlier this year and have been processing it, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”

Presenter Robin Roberts (who is a lesbian herself) pointed out the most important thing: “Through the nerves I can see the joy.”

Underwood agreed.

“I’m emotional, but I’m emotional in such a good, happy, positive way,” he added.

“I’m like the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, and that means the world to me.”

But things weren’t always so happy.

“I got into a place for me in my personal life that was dark and bad,” Underwood said.

“I can list a bunch of different things but they’d all be excuses. I think overall the reason why now is because I got to a place where I didn’t think I was ever going to share this.

“I would rather have died than say I’m gay, and that was sort of my wake up call.”

He mentioned one moment in LA when he woke up, despite having no intention on waking up. For him, that was a sign to change things.

Speaking of the three Bachie seasons he featured on, particularly his own season of The Bachelor, Underwood said he’s been thinking heaps about whether he should regret the experience or not.

“I do think I could have handled it better, I do say that,” he told Roberts.

“I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was.

“I genuinely mean that, but I also at the same time I can say ‘I’m sorry’ to all of those women, I can also thank them, and without the Bachelor franchise, I don’t know if this would have ever come out.”

Underwood had a conservative upbringing where religion played a big part. On his season of The Bachelor in particular, he was widely touted as the “virgin bachelor”.

Finally accepting his sexuality after a long career on hetero reality TV shows can only mean one thing: a gay season of The Bachelor. Producers, if you need any contestants… you can click my name in the byline for my email address.

Good luck to him, and please, please, let it happen.