A Coronation Street producer has denied that the show has a homosexual agenda or is a “gay soapbox”.
Producer Phil Collinson, who is a homosexual, appeared on ITV’s This Morning show on Tuesday to answer mounting criticism about the show.
His comments came after the show’s same-sex storylines came under fire from TV personality Brian Sewell and Corrie legend Jean Alexander.
Brian Sewell, writing in a national newspaper, said soaps were being used as “sexual propaganda”.
And Jean Alexander – who played Hilda Ogden for 23 years – has said three homosexual storylines is “excessive”.
But Mr Collinson said the Corrie audience wants to see storylines about their favourite characters, and some of the homosexual characters are among them.
In December he told The Sun newspaper that he uses Corrie as a platform for pushing issues.
At the time he said the soap is “an amazing platform” that really makes “a difference to the way people think”.
On Tuesday Mr Collinson said: “I think we have a very broad cast with approximately 65 regulars and actually there are two gay couples”.
He continued: “In the research that we do, Hayley, Sean and Sophie are amongst the very most popular characters – they are right up there among the most popular characters in the show so of course we are going to tell stories about our most popular characters.
“The audience want us to tell stories about these people. There is no gay agenda. There is no gay soapbox, we’re just telling stories about love. And the audience want to see that I believe.”
Homosexual lobby group, Stonewall, has in the past boasted of its influence over TV soaps to run plots sympathetic to its campaign issues.