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Adam Rickitt reveals how disappointed he was with the reaction to Coronation Street’s first gay kiss

Tom Halford February 7, 2018
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(Twitter/KatyAdamRickitt)

Actor Adam Rickitt has opened up about being disappointed that Coronation Street’s first gay was such a ‘big moment’.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Rickitt discussed the reaction to his character Nick Tilsley’s kiss with Todd Grimshaw that aired in 2003.

He told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: “The fact that it was front-page news that two characters shared a kiss, even though one of the characters was straight, I found it a bit upsetting that it was still front-page news at that point.”

The episode was viewed by 14 million people and the Independent Television Commission received 21 complaints.

When Morgan asked how the general public reacted on to Rickitt walking the streets after the kiss aired, Rickitt responded: “It was absolutely brilliant, there was absolutely no negative reaction to it.

“The British public are a lot more clued up than people realise.”

(Twitter/WGMTalent)

Host Morgan went on to question why staple shows like the British soap was so important.

“When Coronation Street does those things, It kind of removes the final taboo I guess, it makes it mass popular like this is completely normal and actually that’s the important thing at the moment,” he said.

Rickitt agreed and acknowledged that soaps like Coronation Street and Hollyoaks have the power to educate people, change their attitudes and break taboos.

He continued: “You see other soaps like Hollyoaks at the moment pushing the boundaries even further.

“It’s great that soaps can do that, they can actually challenge people’s conceptions and break down barriers.”

Rickitt was joined by his wife, GMB news correspondent Katy Rickett.

Despite it being years since he appeared on Coronation Street, Rickitt still gets ‘Nick Tilsley’ shouted at him in the street by fans who recognise him.

Rickitt joined the cast of Hollyoaks in 2017, playing the character of Kyle – an MS sufferer who formerly dated Nancy.

Kyle is gay and has been involved with closeted gay character Ryan Knight.

(Twitter/BingoByte)

He was brought on only for eight episodes, but due to the audience’s positive reaction, he has was kept on.

In January, Coronation Street star Bhavna Limbachia opened up about playing the soap’s first lesbian Muslim character.

Limbachia plays Rana Haweb who is having an affair with best friend Kate Connor (Faye Brookes), in a storyline that has spanned several months.

Speaking to Diva Magazine, the actress opened up about telling her Indian mother about the storyline.

She said: “[My mum] is from India, she’s very traditional and from a Hindu family. At first, she wasn’t sure what I meant and I had to explain to her in Gujarati, ‘Look mum, this is what’s gonna happen. I’m gonna be kissing women on screen’.

“‘How do you feel about that? How would you feel if I was telling you this for real?’ I thought, being from that generation, she would be closed-minded. But she said, ‘Look, if you’re gonna help people, go for it’.”

The actress also said that filming the emotional storyline had taken a toll on her.

She said: “There were times when I was filming scenes, like 12 hours of sobbing.

“Then when the director said cut I literally had to run backstage and let out a really big cry, to the point where I was nearly sick because I couldn’t stop.

“You have to go there and it’s heartbreaking. Do you know what? I thought, ‘We’re two people in love, let’s just go for it’. And we did!”

Last year, fellow cast member Daniel Brocklebank responded to a number of anti-gay complaints made against the show, saying that gay kisses on TV don’t traumatise children.

The Shakespeare in Love actor joined the soap in 2014 as gay vicar Billy.

The character has pursued on-screen relationship with Sean Tully (Antony Cotton) and Todd Grimshaw (Bruno Langley).

The storylines have attracted a vast number of complaints, with broadcast regulator Ofcom recently rejecting more than 170 complaints about a gay kiss between Billy and Todd.

Speaking at a Stonewall Season event in Manchester, Brocklebank responded to the claims that the scenes would traumatise children.

He said: “I’m pleased that Coronation Street pushes those boundaries.

“If there were two heterosexual people on a bed we wouldn’t have had the amount of complaints it’s had especially on social media.

“People find the strength. They hide behind a keypad and they can say things they would never probably say to you in the street.”

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