The hugely popular TV soap, Eastenders, will hold its very first LGBT+ Pride march, timed to coincide with London Pride events. The Square will also see the opening of a gay bar and the addition of more LGBT+ characters.
These moves are being introduced by Kate Oates, the show’s new senior executive producer, in a bid to make the show more inclusive and a truer reflection of London. A show source told The Sun: “Kate thought that with Walford’s London identity it was a natural fit to tie in the two. But, as with any event on Albert Square, there is certain to be plenty of drama happening alongside the celebration.”
The shortlist for the 2019 @SoapAwards has been announced!
Huge congratulations to @_Zack_Morris, @MrDDyer and @loustar76.
You can vote for them and #EastEnders right here: https://t.co/A5BZ8zEhYv pic.twitter.com/onYRunWiwy
— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) April 30, 2019
Oates said, “I’m really interested in bringing some more LGBTQ characters in. We’re looking at opening a gay bar on the Square which will be a cool precinct where gay and straight characters can all just hang out and loads of stories can cross. It should be something really exciting, really fun, really visual and feel really true to multicultural London.”
Commenting on the upcoming events in the TV soap, a spokesperson for the UK LGBT+ charity Stonewall told The Sun: “It’s been more than 30 years since EastEnders featured the UK’s first on-screen same-sex kiss. So it’s great to hear Walford will be celebrating Pride.”
This stands in contrast to recent news coming from the camp of rival TV soap, Coronation Street, where new star Ryan Russell was forced to apologise when past homophobic and sexist Tweets were unearthed, including one post in which he said that many women are “f***ing stupid,” and one in which he called a friend a “big gay” for getting a pet hamster.
Ryan issued a public apology, stating: “I’m embarrassed by some of my previous social media posts but hope to be able to use my platform to educate, inspire and engage others. As with anything in life, I believe that it’s about self-reflection, education and growth.”
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