Soaps are powerful in changing people's perceptions say Corrie's Daniel Brocklebank

Coronation Street's Daniel Brocklebank (Credit: Richard Kendal)

But, argued the actors, writers and producers on the panel at an RTS event in mid-July – “LGBTQ in soap: job done?” ­– the fight against prejudice is not yet won.

“Soaps are incredibly powerful in terms of being able to get a message out and in changing people’s perceptions,” said Daniel Brocklebank, who plays gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street.

EastEnders' Sean O'Connor: “They’re more than characters, they’re your mates”

Sean O’Connor insists that not much has changed since he returned to EastEnders as executive producer last summer, after an 11-year absence from the soap.

“All these shows renew themselves…I think they are sort of like chameleons, they change for the time that they are written in and are performed in but fundamentally they remain the same.”

BBC Worldwide & ITV join forces to launch US subscription service

The service, named BritBox, will bring a huge catalogue of British content to the United States in one ad-free subscription service.

The platform, which is set to rival providers like Netflix and Amazon in carrying British content across the Atlantic, will premiere shows including Anthony Horowitz-created BBC drama New Blood, and ITV’s historical epic Tutankhamun.

Sky recommissions Ross Kemp: Extreme World

The show's fifth series recently concluded on Sky1. Episodes featured former EastEnders actor Kemp investigating the ivory trade in Mozambique, overseeing the production of cocaine in Columbia, and visiting rebel groups fighting ISIS in Syria. 

Series six will see the Bafta-winning documentary-maker explore migrant smuggling, the War on Drugs, and violent extremism in Libya, the US, and the UK. 

Executive Producer Tom Sheahan, of Freshwater Films, said: “We’re thrilled to have the greenlight for series six of Extreme World.

Strictly professional: Gorka talks Tameka, Charleston and elimination


“Every ballroom dancer in the competition world, once they stop competing, they want to join the programme,” says Gorka Marquez.

Marquez is one of six new professionals who joined the Strictly Family in 2016, along with husband and wife dancing duo Katya and Neil Jones, AJ Pritchard, Chloe Hewitt and Oksana Platero.

Until the shock elimination last weekend, he was partnered with EastEnders actress Tameka Empson.

“I think the time wasn’t right for her because she was a good dancer. I think it was too early” he protests.

Great Sports Relief Bake Off: Who’s who?

BBC, Bake Off, Sports relief, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Jennifer Saunders

This year’s famous cohort of willing amateur bakers features comedians, singers, sports personalities and politicians.

One face that you will not be seeing however, is regular host Sue Perkins who is leaving her long-time performing partner Mel Giedroyc to host it alone for one episode.

Comedians Ed Byrne, Jennifer  Saunders and Sarah Millican will also each take a turn at helm.


Entertainment channel Watch to relaunch as W

Get Me To The Church

The channel will feature a mixture of original commissions, US exclusives including Code Black and MasterChef USA, and “the very best of BBC content” including same-day repeats of EastEnders and its weekend omnibus.

“UKTV is known for peerlessly strong channel brands, which guide audiences to shows that are perfect for them,” said UKTV controller Emma Tennant. “W will be no different, a premium channel for smart women and men seeking high-quality escapism.”