A character in the BBC sitcom My Family is to come out as gay in a “drunken confession” this week.

Michael, the youngest son of Ben and Susan Harper, played by Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker, will stumble home drunk before declaring to his father that he is gay.

Actor Gabriel Thomson, who plays the character, told What’s On TV: “It’s a drunken confession! Michael comes home drunk and Ben’s up and going on about how similar they are and Michael’s decided now is the time to tell him we’re not that similar and here’s why.

“The fun of the episode is Ben’s reaction. He doesn’t react how you’d expect him to. He’s incredibly understanding. Susan is a bit more confused by the situation – and more confused that Ben is so understanding and being the better parent. He tries a little too hard, bless him.”

Michael, who has always been somewhat of a ladies’ man, has never given any impression that he might be gay.

When the plotline was revealed in April, a source said the change was thought up by a new team of writers to make the sitcom more “edgy and relevant”.

Thomson said: “The whole story is really well dealt with and very funny. I think it’s a great episode.

“It’s a great way to go with the character. There’s a shelf-life on being the smart, younger kid. There’s lots more stuff to come for him as a result, too.”