A poll by gay entertainment website, AfterElton.com has revealed the top 25 most popular gay and bisexual television characters.

In first place was Brian Kinney, controversial lead character in the American series of Queer as Folk.

A lovable rogue, Brian indulged in drug-taking and promiscuous sex yet still found time to father a child with a lesbian friend and bring down a homophobic politician.

Four more characters from the US version of Queer as Folk made the top 25.

The show received critical acclaim for its realistic and unflinching depiction of the lives of gay men.

Second place went to Jack McFarland, the camp, catty best friend of Will Truman in Will and Grace. Will came fifth.

While the popularity of more recent characters shows the depiction of gay men is becoming more representative, the poll revealed continuing disparities.

Only three of the characters in the top 25 were non-white, the highest placed being Ricky Vasquez from cult 90s high-school series, My So-Called Life.

Just six of the characters were played by openly gay actors, half of whom were in Queer as Folk.

Others in the top 25 included Jack Harness from Torchwood, Marc St. James from Ugly Betty and Waylon Smithers from The Simpsons.

5000 readers cast their votes for over 150 candidates who dated back to Jack Panama in 1972 American series, The Corner Bar.

Channel 4 show Hollyoaks gay character John Paul McQueen makes the list at number 21.

The whole top 25 can be seen here.