The enactment of the controversial Section 28 clause, prohibiting ‘the promotion of homosexuality’ by councils and schools, led to EastEnders’ first gay relationship being cut short, claims one of the actors involved.
Back in the late 1980s, Gary Hailes played the hit soap’s gay barrow boy, Barry Clark, who was in a relationship with Colin Russell. Colin was played by Michael Cashman, who had a long career as an actor before going into politics and becoming MEP for the West Midlands.
Speaking to the Distinct Nostalgia podcast, Gary said about the couple: “Like Romeo and Juliet, they were not allowed to be together.”
He continued: “Towards the end there were a number of storylines that were dropped.
"We built towards them and they were cut because of Section 28. The BBC found themselves in a difficult position.
“They had to be seen to be doing right by the law. There was stuff we shot of Barry coming out to his dad and the backlash.
“It got cut because it didn’t fit... within the realms of Clause 28, and they changed it and that helped put the brakes on what they could do with the characters.”
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