Alison Steadman recalls nervousness before filming British TV’s first lesbian kiss
Alison Steadman has reflected on filming the first lesbian kiss on British television in the 1974 BBC drama, Girl.
The scene saw Steadman and Myra Frances’s military officers share an intimate moment in the then-controversial drama about gay women in the army.
Speaking in a new reader interview in The Guardian, Steadman, 76, said: “I remember being very nervous about the whole thing. Then I got over it. Then I was worried about how my parents, who lived in a quiet suburban area of Liverpool, would cope.
“I thought, ‘My poor mum! The neighbours will be whispering, “Did you see your daughter on television?”’ By the time we came to record, this great director [Peter Gill] didn’t make a fuss and said, ‘So this is the bit where they kiss … All right, quick kiss, let’s carry on.’
“I was just nervous about people’s reactions. But my mum was great, and the neighbours got over it quickly.”
It wasn’t until five years later, in 1979, that the first gay kiss between two men was shown on BBC One in Coming Out.
The first pre-watershed lesbian kiss was later broadcast between Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson on Brookside in 1994 (this moment is often mistaken for the first ever lesbian kiss on British TV).
After Girl, Steadman went on to star in Mike Leigh’s 1977 TV play Abigail’s Party, receive Bafta nods for her roles in The Singing Detective and Fat Friends, and she gained millions of fans as the hilarious, fun-loving Essex housewife Pam in Gavin & Stacey.