An American soap is set to introduce what is thought to be the serial drama world’s first transgender character.

The character will appear on ABC’s All My Children, in a storyline about a gender transition from a man to a woman.

There have been other post-op transgender characters in US soaps but this storyline is believed to be the first time the start of the process will be followed.

Julie Hanan Carruthers, the show’s executive producer, told the Associated Press: “All My Children was looking for something new, and knows its audience is always interested in anything to do with sexuality, after 36 years, you start rehashing, It’s inevitable, we didn’t want to fall back on the baby-switch story again.”

The show has drafted in experts from gay media watchdog the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to advise them on the character, who will be known as Zarf.

GLAAD’s Damon Romine, called it groundbreaking and said it will show what transsexuals have to go through, “I think it’s groundbreaking and breakthrough television for daytime to put a spotlight on transgender people and tell their story.”