Popular soaps EastEnders and Emmerdale are set to launch three more homosexual characters between them in the coming months.
Homosexual lobby group Stonewall has previously boasted about its influence on TV soaps – citing one character who wore a campaign shirt from the group.
ITV soap Coronation Street has already caused a storm of controversy with its homosexual characters – and some of its former stars have expressed doubts about its growing number of same-sex plotlines.
Now it has emerged that teenager Ben Mitchell, son of Phil, is set to have a homosexual storyline in EastEnders and Emmerdale is to introduce a lesbian couple.
The EastEnders storyline will reportedly come about after Ben Mitchell is sent to boxing class by his father.
There he meets and kisses fellow teen Duncan.
In Emmerdale, actresses Kelli Hollis and Alicya Eyo will play a lesbian couple.
Kelli Hollis will play mum Ali Spencer who leaves her husband and brings her two children to start a new life in the Yorkshire village.
Series producer at Emmerdale, Stuart Blackburn, said the characters are “down to earth, gritty, funny and likeable and after leaving her husband of 15 years, Ali has a lot riding on making her new life in Emmerdale work”.
Last month art critic and TV personality Brian Sewell hit out at the excessive number of homosexuals, transsexuals, and teenage lesbian characters on Coronation Street.
Mr Sewell, who is himself bisexual, also attacked the same-sex storylines on EastEnders. He said soaps were being used as “sexual propaganda”.
In May former Corrie star Nick Cochrane, who played Andy McDonald, commented on the number of same-sex storylines on the soap. He said: “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.”