Emmerdale has topped a poll to decide which soap has the best depiction of gay and lesbian lives.

The rural ITV1 show, in which troubled teenager Aaron Livesy tried to kill himself when his sexuality was revealed, took 44 per cent of the vote in the survey by campaigning charity Stonewall.

EastEnders received 43 per cent of the vote, following a high-profile depiction of an inter-faith relationship between Muslim Syed Masood and Christian Clarke.

Coronation Street, which has seen best friends Sophie Webster and Sian Powers embark on a lesbian romance, received 13 per cent.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “We waited years for a decent gay storyline to be written into a soap. Then – in Emmerdale, EastEnders and Coronation Street – three turned up at once.

“We wanted to find out how well gay people felt these storylines reflected their own lives.”

Emmerdale’s series producer Gavin Blyth said: “From the outset, we always wanted to be very truthful and honest in the story of Aaron’s sexuality and how he as an individual attempted to deny himself.”

He went on: “The enormous positive feedback we have received has proved it to be the case and to be recognised by Stonewall in this way is a huge honour to all involved.”

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