Coronation Street’s gay vicar gets homophobic death threats
Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank has revealed that he receives hate mail and death threats for playing a gay vicar.
The Shakespeare in Love actor debuted in the soap in December as Billy, the new vicar at Emily Bishop’s parish.
Since first appearing, he has embarked on a romance storyline with barman Sean Tully – leading some to complain about the story’s portrayal.
The actor, who is gay in real life, told the Daily Star he is often on the receiving end of vile abuse.
He said: “Somebody tweeted me the other day and said they wanted to kick ‘that faggy Sean’s head in and crucify the shirt-lifting vicar’. I thought: ‘Crucify?’ God, we can have a coffee first?
“I get a lot of stuff from right-wing Christian groups too.”
He also hinted that he would like to see his character tie the knot – something that vicars in real life remain banned from doing in the Church of England.
He said: “There has never been a gay wedding on the show before.”
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The actor added: “I am now in touch with several gay vicars who are thankful that Coronation Street are highlighting the issue of gay clergy.
“Religion is not gay-friendly but with a character like mine it is opening people’s eyes.
“There are many gay Christians, Muslims and Catholics and it is all right to have a faith.”
Anti-gay group Christian Concern previously attacked the role, saying: “Coronation Street never seem to put churchmen like those you and I know on the show.
“They go out of their way to squeeze LGBT storylines in, but how often do we have an evangelical minister sympathetically portrayed?
“Sadly this is more evidence of soaps getting ever more detached from reality.”