EastEnders actor Steve McFadden has said he does not think his screen alter ego Phil Mitchell will ever accept that his son Ben is gay.
Recent storylines have seen the teenager – played by 16-year-old Joshua Pascoe – sharing a kiss with his new friend Duncan, but trying to keep his sexuality a secret from his dad.
And Steve told Inside Soap magazine he does not think the mechanic would be able to cope with the news.
“Ben being gay isn’t the worst thing in the world for Phil,” he said. “But it’s just not how he wants his son to be. I don’t think he’ll ever accept it if Ben comes to him and admits that he’s gay.”
“Phil has this romantic notion of fatherhood, and what his son should be like as he grows up,” the 52-year-old added.
“He wants Ben to be more like Jay – someone who’s useful with his fists and into more macho things.”
Steve recently told TV Choice magazine how impressed he was with Joshua’s handling of the storyline.
“When I was at drama school I played a gay character and had to take my clothes off on stage,” the actor recalled. I know how embarrassed I was, and I was 25 at the time – Joshua’s only 16.
“But it’s a great storyline for EastEnders to be doing and I think Phil’s reaction is pretty common, so people will relate to it. Coming out isn’t just about one person – it’s about the whole family.”