Taiwan has aired its first ever gay-themed short comedy film on public television.

The short film, ‘Penguins at North Pole’, was broadcast on Sunday. The film was billed as the country’s “first gay-themed family comedy.”

“In most Asian countries this topic is still quite a taboo,” said Jessie Shih, deputy director of the international department at Taiwan’s Public Television Service.

“And many among the older generations in Taiwan still feel that way.”

Gay-themed programmes have featured before, but are usually more drama-focussed, and had sad endings.

Penguins at North Pole was intended to offer a comedy take on issues faced by young gay couples and their parents.

The show received higher ratings than were expected.

It was aired as pro and anti-same-sex marriage protesters clashed in Taipei over a bill to legalise same-sex marriage in the country.