Eastenders star Kellie Bright has spoken in an interview about her character’s problems accepting her son’s sexuality, saying the show has to be easy to relate to, and it is more realistic because the character is struggling.

Bright, who plays Linda Carter in the soap, spoke to the Radio Times about the problems Carter has accepting her son Johnny’s sexuality.

Johnny Carter, played by Sam Strike, came out to his father Mick, played by Danny Dyer in an episode of the BBC1 show earlier this year. While Mick accepted his son, Linda found it more difficult, even going so far as to try to set him up with a girl.

“I don’t have the same opinions as Linda and I was a bit concerned about how it would come across. But you have to be able to reach everybody who watches the show and it wouldn’t have been truthful if all the Carters had been pleased that Johnny is gay,” said Bright.

“Linda wouldn’t say she was homophobic – she just doesn’t want it to be her son, which I believe is a far more common reaction in parents than we think.”

Discussing her own coming to terms with the character’s views, she said: “How I reasoned it in my head was that Johnny is her baby and she’s been very protective of him because he nearly died,” continues Bright. “They have a lot in common and he would be the one she went to musicals with. And when he came out, she felt a bit betrayed and that she’d been lied to for a long time. There was a bit of hurt over that. She felt like she didn’t know this person anymore.”

Johnny will be seen packing his pags after a conflict with his mother in this week’s episodes, but Bright suggested that their relationship may not be completely ireeparable, saying: “You couldn’t keep going on having the same arguments and fallings out.”