Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou has written an article for The Guardian in response to Brian Sewell’s Daily Mail article criticising the number of LGBT characters in the Manchester soap and claiming gay relationships were unsuitable for before the watershed.

The actor plays Marcus Dent in Coronation Street – recently reprising his role after quitting the soap in 2008. The character’s return to Weatherfield and reviving his relationship with Sean Tully (Anthony Cotton) will reportedly lead to the soaps first civil partnership. Yesterday art critic Brian Sewell wrote an article for the Daily Mail which was an scathing attack on the number of LGBT characters in Coronation Street and soaps in general. Sewell wrote “There’s too much, not only of gay men – who are estimated to make up just six per cent of the population, but who dominate the storylines in the soap – but also of lesbians, bisexuals, the trans-gender community, cross-dressers and everyone else with some sexual quirk or fetish…..”.

The art critic also dragged EastEnders into the firing line stating “The dear old egalitarian BBC protested that its policy is to portray gay and hetero- sexual relationships in exactly the same way, both equally suitable for pre-watershed viewing. But are they equally suitable? Are soaps, watched by pre-pubescent children — who may still have some tattered remnant of innocence that we should cherish — really a proper platform for sexual propaganda and special pleading?”

In today’s edition of The Guardian Charlie Condou has responded to those criticisms of Coronation Street levelled at the soap by Brian Sewell. The actor points out that in a cast of 65 only four regular characters are gay and while the soap has introduced a cross-dress the character is still straight and in a love triangle with two other women fighting over him. The actor also went on to address the underlying themes of Sewell’s article.

“Sewell seems to suggest there’s something morally reprehensible in being gay, and that there’s some kind of promotion of a gay agenda at work (led by a sinister-sounding “mafia”). But in fact you barely see a kiss from the gay characters, just like our heterosexual counterparts. It’s not a “sexy” show.”  – Charlie Condou in The Guardian.

The actor draws to the article to a close referring to the recently axed Opera North production written by Lee Hall which has been at the centre of a storm over alleged homophobia.

“Sewell’s article worries me because it seems to be part of a change in mood that reminds me of the Section 28 years, when everyone was shouting out that the gays were taking over. This week’s news that Opera North had pulled the plug on Lee Hall’s opera Beached over explicit references by a gay character to his sexuality has added to this. It feels like we’re moving backwards, and I find that shocking.” – Charlie Condou in The Guardian.

You can read Brian Sewell’s article for the Daily Mail here >>

You can read Charlie Condou’s article for The Guardian here >>

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