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Corrie: The first gay.

Byline: POLLY GRAHAM

CORONATION Street chiefs are introducing the first gay character in the show's 43-year history.

Executive producer Kieran Roberts is planning to turn teenager Todd Grimshaw, played by heartthrob Bruno Langley, into a homosexual.

Sensitive Todd will shock his Street pals when he ends his romance with Sarah Lou Platt (played by Tina O'Brien, pictured with him above) after developing a crush on a man.

Scripts have yet to be written but bosses hope to introduce the storyline in a few months' time. "There have been meetings about Todd wrestling with his sexuality," a source confirmed. "Nothing is written in stone yet but it looks like it is going to happen. The Street never shies away from the big issues."

It will be a challenging role for 19-year-old Bruno, who joined the show two years ago. In real life he recently split with co-star Tina, 19, after a 14-month romance.

The pair's characters have already been at the centre of a contentious plot. TV watchdog the ITC received nine complaints over scenes in which Sarah Lou celebrated her 16th birthday by making love to Todd. But the ITC praised the programme for the way it handled the subject.

-ROY Hudd, who plays undertaker Archie Shuttleworth, is to quit the show when his contract runs out at the end of next month because "I don't want to be tied to the series."

p.graham@sundaymirror.co.uk

SALLY'S MANHUNT: Page 40REMEMBER WHEN..?FIRST GAY: Colin in BBC1's EastEndersFIRST LESBIANS: Anna & Nicola in BrooksideFIRST TRANSSEXUAL: The Street's HayleyTHE BBC'S EastEnders in 1986 was the first soap to introduce a homosexual character in Colin Russell, played by gay rights campaigner Michael Cashman.

Then came the first lesbian TV kiss between Anna Friel and Nicola Stapleton in Channel 4's Brookside in 1994.

In 1998 Coronation Street was the first to introduce a transsexual character, Hayley Cropper - played by Julie Hesmondhalgh. Hayley went on to have a sex change.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 23, 2003
Words:326
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