Actress Luisa Bradshaw-White has criticised Nigeria and other African countries for pushing ahead with anti-gay legislation.

“Ban the Gays!” she told IBTimes UK at the National Television Awards last night. “I just find the whole thing absolutely absurd these days that people are still shocked about homosexuals. I really am.”

Bradshaw-White joined the EastEnders cast in November 2013 as Tina Carter, the lesbian younger sister of Shirley and Mick Carter.

The 38-year-old actress has previously starred in Holby City and This Life.

Speaking of her current character in Eastenders, Bradshaw-White said: “When the executive producer asked me to do this and asked my character to be gay, he wanted to do something really different,” she said.

“Every one [of the TV dramas ] seems to have the gay character, the black one and he was like ‘no let’s make this character a really brilliant character- Oh and she’s gay’. So that’s what we’re doing.”

There has been worldwide condemnation of Nigeria after the country’s president earlier this month signed into law a draconian anti-gay bill.

Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be jailed for up to 14 years. The law also bans people who register, operate or participate in gay clubs, societies or organisations, or who publicly show that they are in a same-sex relationship.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague all criticised President Jonathan’s decision.

Same-sex relationships were already illegal in the country prior to the new law passing.