The star, who plays Weatherfield vicar Billy Mayhew, says he embraces the opportunity to play characters that young, gay people can connect with.
Coronation Street star Daniel Brocklebank, who plays vicar Billy Mayhew, says he feels typecast as an openly gay actor, but has ‘made peace’ with it, and embraced the opportunity to represent the gay community.
Speaking at Royal Television Society Panel Discussion LGBTQ in Soap: Job Done?, the 37-year-old actor explained that he saw few gay characters on television when he was growing up in rural Warwickshire, and said that playing predominantly gay roles was ‘worth it’ if it meant young gay people had characters they can connect with.
“I came out publicly in 1998, and came out to my family in 1995,” Daniel explained. “Section 28 was still in force, so teachers weren’t allowed to discuss homosexuality in schools, and the legal age of consent was either 21 or had moved to 18. I grew up in the middle of a field. There were no real gay models on television and I kind of thought I was the only gay person in the world.
“I was advised not to come out by my management. I was working a lot in the States and they basically said: ‘If you come out, you’re not going to work.’ And I said: ‘Well, I don’t want to work then, I’ll go back to the UK.’”
On being stereotyped, Daniel, who is in a relationship with Corrie co-star Rob Mallard (Daniel Osborne), said: “I sort of don’t mind. I’ve played all sorts of characters, but there’s something wonderful about being able to represent now, and being able to have experiences where you meet a mum bursting into tears at Euston station, thanking me for being so visible because it’s helped her son to come out.
“If I’ve been able to offer that to younger generations, it’s totally worth it.”