Coronation StreetPhil Collinson, producer of Coronation Street, has claimed recent criticisms of a so-called ‘gay agenda’ at the ITV soap have only been made because he’s gay.

Collinson’s words come a week after Brian Sewell wrote a scathing article for the Daily Mail in which the critic attacked the number of LGBT characters within the soap. Sewell’s article also criticised EastEnders for similar reasons and questioned whether gay relationships were suitable for pre-watershed audiences. Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus Dent on the soap, wrote an article for The Guardian responding to many of Sewell’s criticisms.

Subsequently the Sewell article has been picked up by various tabloids who have run similar stories mixed with stories about declining ratings and Michelle Collins’ poorly received character of Stella to claim the Granada soap is in a crisis. Phil Collinson has defended the soap several times in recent days; writing on the official website for Corrie, appearing on This Morning recently and now BBC One’s Breakfast.

“I think this is something that I do have to tackle quite head-on….I am gay myself. I’m the first gay producer of the show for many, many years. This accusation would not be able to be levelled at the show if I weren’t in charge. I really fundamentally believe that. Those are absolutely the stories that came out across the weekend; linking the fact that there are gay storylines in Coronation Street with the fact that I am gay myself.” – Phil Collinson on Breakfast

The stories concerning the supposed crisis at Coronation Street have continued this week with reports that some storylines are being re-written. Other reports claim several stars are unhappy about being “sidelined” by current stories.

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