Video: slammed EastEnders storyline ‘not about religion’

An EastEnders storyline which portrays a Christian pastor as a murderer is not “demoting” the faith, the actor who plays the character has claimed.

Watch Don Gilet talk about his EastEnders character

Over 100 Christians have already complained to the BBC over the plot which shows Pentecostal preacher Lucas Johnson attacking his wife, failing to help his ex-wife when she was dying and strangling a love rival to death.

But actor Don Gilet says the story is “not about religion”.


Speaking to BBC Newsbeat Mr Gilet said: “It’s not promoting or demoting Christianity, this guy is just not very well”.

He added: “I know a few people are upset by it, but if you actually watch the show and invest in the story it’s not about religion.

“It’s about one man’s warped view of life and he could have chosen any view to soak his madness into.”


Earlier this month, in the face of public criticism, the BBC defended the story line saying: “Lucas is certainly not intended to be representative of Christians.

“He is a very damaged and dangerous individual who has created a twisted version of the Christian ‘faith’ in his mind to hide behind and to convince himself that his actions are acceptable.”

The statement continued: “This represents this character’s emotional breakdown, and it is very clear that this is absolutely not normal behaviour.”


The story came to a head last night with Lucas being arrested by police.

The BBC has also come under fire recently for its portrayal of Christianity in its comedy “Rev”.

A BBC press pack claims the sitcom, is “contemporary”, “heavily researched” and it “lifts the lid on how the modern Church actually functions and what life is really like in a dog collar.”

Rev presents evangelicals as unforgiving, money-obsessed hypocrites while Muslims are shown in a sympathetic light as self-assured in their beliefs and moral values.


In May BBC Radio 4 presenter Roger Bolton said BBC TV bosses “view religious coverage as a rather tiresome obligation to be minimised rather than a rich and promising area to explore”.

And in January BBC presenter Simon Mayo said that religion on the BBC is “increasingly driven to the margin”.

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