TV researchers at the British Film Institute (BFI) have revealed they have footage of what is believed to be the first known male-to-male kiss on UK television featuring Sean Connery.

The tapes originally belonged to Public Broadcasting Service WNET New York, which broadcast them after they had been shown in the UK on BBC or ITV. In the scene, which appeared in the 1960 BBC drama Colombe, Connery kisses Richard Pasco, who plays his brother.

Connery’s character suspects his brother is sleeping with his wife, played by Dorothy Tutin. In an attempt to understand what his brother has that he lacks, he kisses him.

The footage, which was found at the US Library of Congress and given to the BFI, has led to questions over how it came to be screened.

Dick Fiddy, TV consultant at the British Film Institute said: “Sadly nobody around here now seems to recall it.

“But it might have been accepted because of the context and because it was a television version of a classic play by a great French dramatist.”

He added: “It was, we are pretty sure, the first male-to-male kiss on TV.”