Eastenders actor Sam Strike, who plays new gay character Johnny Carter in Eastenders has said he has had letters saying his on-screen coming out “helped people to come out” as gay, and that it was “worth it.

He also said that he was “really nervous”, when the episode featuring his coming-out aired, and on his character Johnny’s relationship with his mother Linda, Strike said he thought she “partly blamed herself” when he came out as gay.

Johnny Carter, played by Sam Strike, came out to his father Mick, played by Danny Dyer in an episode of the soap last month.

The previous episode ended with the character’s sister Nancy blurting out that Johnny is gay, and an earlier episode featured him being caught kissing character Danny Pennant.

“With that scene where Johnny comes out to Mick, I was really nervous the night it aired, because you want it to look convincing but then you want to do justice by the people that have been there and done it,” he says in the video published on the Eastenders website.

“It was a real proving ground for me, because it was the first time I actually had to do any proper drama acting. I’ve had letters and Danny’s had letters saying that we’d helped people to come out, and it makes things worth it.”