A famous British drama just introduced its first black family. And, that family happens to have a gay member.
Recently, it was announced that Coronation Street, a famous soap opera named after the location of its many happenings, would gain a new gay character. This was announced just after the show killed off a lesbian character, and fan favorite, Rana Habeeb.
At the time, it was announced that a gay, black football player would join the cast. But now, according to the Guardian, there’s even more to celebrate. Not only will the show have its first gay, black character, but also its first black family.
Despite the show running for 59-years, this will be the first time that a black family will feature on the show. The Bailey family will include Edison, Aggie, their two sons Michael and James, and a mysterious daughter named Diana who will appear after her family for unknown reasons.
When asked why the show took so long to include a black family, show producer Iain MacLeod said:
“Short answer: I don’t really know. In the past, new families come in one at a time. I find that a harder way to do it, which is why they all turn up and you get the dynamic. Manchester has a large proportion of black residents so it did feel sort of overdue we did this and represented modern Manchester a bit more accurately.”
One storyline that will introduce this family focuses on James. It’s been shared that 19-year-old James Bailey is a gay football player who will come out in an upcoming storyline.
Said MacLeod on the character:
“We wanted to look at a modern story about a young, gay man. It won’t be your normal coming out story where we see James wrestling with his sexuality. We were quite keen that he knows who he is but has some apprehensiveness about telling his parents, [and] has a lot of apprehensiveness about his teammates potentially finding out.”
Then, newcomer Nathan Graham, who is playing James, spoke to Digital Spy about his character and his struggle to come out.
“James is the youngest member of the family,” Nathan told Digital Spy and other media outlets. “He’s part of the youth football team at Weatherfield County. He is very determined and driven to achieving his dreams. He wants to become a better footballer and maybe move to a better team – who knows?
“James is the apple of his father’s eye. His dad is almost living his life through James. His dad wanted to achieve certain things, but James is the one who’s doing what Ed wanted to do when he was growing up. Ed didn’t take that path himself, so James is the golden child in his eyes,” the actor continued.
Nathan also added that his character is typically shy, but can show a different side to himself depending on the situation.
Fans of the long-running soap opera will have to see for themselves when James and the rest of the Baileys show up to Coronation Street later this year.