Billy Crystal has claimed that modern gay storylines on TV shows are “pushing too far”.

Crystal played one of the first regularly openly gay characters, Jodie Dallas, on 1970s comedy ‘Soap’.

Speaking to the Television Critics Association, the star claimed that he doesn’t want TV to “shove it in our face” with regards to gay issues.

He said: “Sometimes I think, ‘Ah that’s too much for me.’

“Sometimes, it’s just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I’m not going to reveal to you which ones they are.

“I hope people don’t abuse it and shove it in our face to the point where it feels like an every day kind of thing.”

He said of his role on Soap: “Jodie was really the first recurring [gay] character on network television and it was a different time, it was 1977. So, yeah, it was awkward. It was tough.

“I did it in front of a live audience and there were times when I would say to Bob [Seagren], ‘I love you’, and the audience would laugh nervously.

“I wanted to stop the taping and go, ‘What is your problem?'”