(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog July 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)
Earlier this week, the Royal Television Society held a public discussion on the way British soaps have made huge strides in portraying the lives and loves of gay characters since the genre’s first on-screen kiss in EastEnders 30 years ago.
Daniel Brocklebank, who plays Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street, was a member of the panel at the event and spoke about his experiences.
“Soaps are incredibly powerful in terms of being able to get a message out and in changing people’s perceptions,” said Daniel Brocklebank, who plays gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street.
Twelve years ago, Brocklebank recalled, he gave the first gay kiss in another ITV soap, Emmerdale. He told the RTS event: “Now, as I’m playing a vicar, the reaction predominately comes from very religious people who don’t believe the clergy can be gay; whereas the reaction before was about that fact that it was two boys kissing. So we’ve definitely moved [forward] in that time – but not far enough [going by] the negative responses that we’ve had about Corrie.”
A scene last year scene involving Mayhew and Todd Grimshaw kissing on a bed, provoked a “huge homophobic response” after the show aired, said Brocklebank.
You can read the full report here.
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