Coronation Street’s Billy Mayhew (Daniel Brocklebank) has faced backlash from his employers and parishioners after it was discovered that he had married boyfriend Paul Foreman (Peter Ash) in a church ceremony.
While gay marriage is legal in the UK, church law states that gay couples cannot get married in church – something which devout archdeacon Billy struggled with.
However, when Paul and his family were able to pull a few strings and surprise him with a church wedding, he was over the moon.
Unfortunately, their wedding, which was the first successful gay wedding in Coronation Street’s 63 year history, upset a lot of people within their church community and ultimately resulted in Billy being suspended from his job.
This issue is one that affects countless gay couples in real life all over the country, so this story has provided much needed representation.
In recent years, questions have been raised over whether gay characters should be played by heterosexual actors, something which Paul Foreman actor Peter Ash has been vocal about on Twitter/X in the past.
Speaking to PinkNews recently, Peter, who is straight, confirmed that he shares the same stance now as he did when those tweets were posted.
‘My opinion stays the same,’ he said. ‘I’ve always thought, it is acting, [as long as] you can portray the role. Obviously there are certain parts where certain people will be, what’s the word?’
Daniel Brocklebank, who plays Billy, added: ‘More knowledgeable.’
Daniel went on to agree with his co-star, saying that an actors job is to pretend to be someone that they’re not.
‘If you’re saying that only gay people should play gay roles, if I, as a gay man, was turned down for a straight role because I was gay, wouldn’t that be deemed homophobic?
‘It’s always been an interesting dichotomy.’
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