Gay Irish actor Aidan O’Callaghan at the centre of new EastEnders LGBTQ+ storyline

O’Callaghan plays the role of Lewis, the new manager of the show’s gay bar ‘The Prince Albert’.

Aidan O'Callaghan poses beside Albert Square sign.
Image: Aidan O'Callaghan

Gay Irish actor Aidan O’Callaghan has been attracting attention through his new role on the British soap EastEnders. The Corkman plays newcomer Lewis Butler, the manager of the show’s gay bar ‘The Prince Albert’.

Appearing for the first time in an episode that aired on Monday, April 11, Lewis is reported to be at the centre of an upcoming queer storyline. While on the job in the pub opened by Kathy Beale in 2019, he befriends Ben Mitchell and Callum Highway, a married gay couple whose relationship has been challenged as a result of a homophobic attack. Lewis himself has faced homophobia during his scenes this season, and his character has already made an impact on the show’s devoted viewers.

According to reports, EastEnders bosses are keen to give more airtime to ongoings in The Prince Albert. While it is unclear how long he will remain on the show, some are calling for Lewis to be a permanent character.

One fan tweeted: “I’m pleased that Lewis has joined the show – I just hope that he’ll become a full-time character,” while another said, “I hope that Lewis won’t be a one-off. Ben seems to hit it off with Lewis instantly and right now that’s what Ben needs. Lewis is gay – so he’s bound to have gone through a similar experience to Ben.”

Aidan O’Callaghan has also landed roles such as Mike in Emmerdale and is due to star in the upcoming series The Witcher: Blood Origin. The 33-year-old studied Pharmacy at Trinity College Dublin, before joining a theatre company in London and becoming a professional actor. He is an openly gay man and was involved in campaigning for Irish Marriage Equality in 2015.

New episodes of EastEnders air from Monday to Thursday at 7:30 PM on RTÉ One and BBC One. If you would like to catch up on the ones you’ve missed and see Aidan O’Callaghan in action, you can do so on the BBC iPlayer or RTÉ Player.

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