Coronation Street will lead out the Manchester Gay Pride Parade for the second year running, despite recent criticism at the soap’s mounting same-sex story lines.
ITV bosses have confirmed they will enter a float in this year’s parade over Bank Holiday weekend, after winning the “best float” award last year.
Brooke Vincent, who plays lesbian character Sophie Webster, said: “I had an absolute ball last year and think it’s a great chance to come together in an awesome city like Manchester and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life.”
She added: “It’s fantastic that Coronation Street is supporting Pride yet again and I’m very proud to be portraying a lesbian character on screen.”
In July Phil Collinson, the soap’s homosexual producer, denied that the show has a homosexual agenda or is a “gay soapbox”.
His comments came after the show’s same-sex storylines came under fire from TV personality Brian Sewell and Corrie legend Jean Alexander.
In May it was revealed that stars on Coronation Street were becoming increasingly worried by the soap’s growing number of same-sex plotlines.
One Corrie insider said: “It’s not a happy place to be at the moment – and there is growing unrest that the show is losing its way.”
The soap currently features two lesbians, four homosexual men and a transsexual.
Former Corrie star Nick Cochrane, who played Andy McDonald, said: “It’s unrealistic. Would one road in a working class area generally produce that number of gay people?”
“I’ve got plenty of gay friends”, he explained, “but they don’t all live in a street full of gay people. How many streets in Britain would have schoolgirl lesbians, gay married couples, a transsexual and children to gay couples? It is a little bit far-fetched.”
He added that the soap was not “the right platform to highlight so many gay issues all at the same time”.
In December Mr Collinson told the Sun newspaper that he uses Corrie as a platform for pushing issues.
He said it is “an amazing platform” that really makes “a difference to the way people think”.