Coronation Street star: I get abuse for playing a gay vicar

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank has opened up about receiving harsh comments over his role as a gay vicar on the soap.

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 Mirror: “We’re here to cause some sort of stir and you’re never going to please everyone. Some of the religious viewers so far have not been too happy.

“A woman came up to me in a supermarket three days ago telling me I was going to go to hell playing a gay vicar. The show itself has had a backlash.”

He added that he hopes his role triggers discussions within the Church of England, saying: “Having a progressive vicar in Coronation Street provides the opportunity to educate people and give them a different point of view.

“The church won’t survive if it doesn’t update. Religion should be all-loving. Why would someone gay of my age join the church when all you get is backlash?”

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.”