The Traitors US host Alan Cumming’s life off screen from husband to tragic childhood

The US version of the hit showThe Traitorsdropped on BBC iPlayer last week, after airing in the US on 12 January this year.

The show brings together ten celebrities, most of them from the reality TV, and ten non-celebrity contestants, to compete in a series of challenges in order to win a cash prize of up to $250,000

The US version of the showis hosted by actor Alan Cumming, one of Scotland’s most successful actors. Here’s a look at his life off-screen…

Born in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland in 1964, Alan's mother, Mary Darling, was an insurance company secretary and his father, Alex Cumming, was the head forester of Panmure Estate.

In his autobiography, Not My Father's Son, Alan described the emotional and physical violence his father inflicted on him in his childhood, adding how it taught him how to act by "needing to suppress my own emotions and feelings around him [his father] when I was a little boy."

Alan did not have any communication with his father after his early 20s until just before the filming of his episode of the series Who Do You Think You Are?

He then found out his father had believed he was not his biological son, with Alan and his brother taking DNA tests that proved they were indeed his biological children.

The 57-year-old actor was educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Working professionally since 1980, Alan began his acting career on the stages of the Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, the Dundee Rep, and Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.

He earned his first Olivier nomination when his production of Conquest of the South Pole was transferred to the Royal Court in London. He continued to act on stage throughout his career, most famously as The Master of Ceremonies in the 1998 Broadway revival of Cabaret for which he won a Tony Award.

The actor has also had a successful movie career, including films such as Circle of Friends, Golden Eye, Emma, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Eyes Wide Shut, X-Men 2 and the Spy Kids trilogy.

Alan also boasts writing among his many talents, having penned six books, including his memoir, Not My Father's Son, which became a New York Times best-seller.

The actor is also known for his cabaret shows, and owns Club Cumming, a gay bar and nightclub in the East Village of Manhattan in New York City.

Alan Cumming is married to illustrator Grant Shaffer with the couple currently residing in Manhattan. They became civil partners at London’s Old Royal Naval College in January 2007 and five years later legally married in New York.

Alan was previously married to actress Hilary Lyon for eight years.

Stephen Lambert, who is the CEO of Studio Lambert, said of The Traitors host toDeadline: "In a game of secrecy, suspicion and plot twists in a Scottish castle, who better to take the helm and guide our game players through the drama and challenging missions than Alan who originally comes from Scotland."


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