EastEnders actor John Partridge has criticised the gay Coronation Street character Sean Tully as a “stereotype”.

Partridge, who plays Christian Clarke, said that the Corrie character, played by Antony Cotton, was a “tea-time gay”.

But the out gay actor added that without Cotton’s camp portrayal, his own EastEnders character may not have been written.

Speaking to Attitude magazine, Partridge said of his character: “What I didn’t want as a stereotype was what I call a tea-time gay. The Sean Tully type of character is the reason my character is here.

“I’ve worked in theatre for 20 years and there are lots of queens in the West End that look and act like that.

“I’m not going to diss his performance or his style, or say ‘Who does he think he’s representing?’ because he is representing one of those shades of gay.

“It may not be your taste, but if that character hadn’t happened and been so successful, I don’t think the BBC would have gone, ‘Right, we need a gay character.'”

Christian is currently caught up in a love triangle with gay Muslim Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) and Syed’s new wife Amira, played by Preeya Kalidas.

Syed was forced to marry Amira to save his family’s dignity after coming out to his mother in December.

Attitude magazine is out tomorrow.