A character in the BBC sitcom My Family is to come out as gay.

Michael, the youngest son of characters Ben and Susan Harper, will tell his family he is gay at the start of the tenth series, sources said.

The character, played by Gabriel Thomson, has not given any indication he might be gay in the past, having become something of a ladies’ man in recent series.

A source told the Daily Mail that the change was thought up by a new team of writers to make the sitcom more “edgy and relevant”.

The source said: “We were given a brief to turn the show into something a younger audience would relate to and watch.

“This is just one of the storylines we have come up with. It’s handled very sensitively.”

My Family follows a middle-aged dentist and his chaotic family. Although a tenth series has not been placed in the BBC’s schedule yet, producers say it will air later this year.