Ex-EastEnders star received homophobic hate mail

Sophie Dainty
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

Former EastEnders star Lord Michael Cashman has opened up about the homophobic hate mail he received whilst starring in the soap.

Lord Cashman starred as Colin in Eastenders between 1986 and 1989 and was the soap's first ever gay character. He reprised the role briefly last year for a short storyline involving Dot Branning.

Reflecting on his time on the soap, Lord Cashman opened up about the backlash he received whilst chatting on the new Attitude Heroes podcast.

"The postbag that I was getting, the letters were predominantly supportive," he said. "What I didn't know about – it was only given to me years later by the BBC – were the really vicious letters that they kept back.

"I was put on an extreme right's hit list along with others like Sue Johnston from Brookside, who was campaigning against Section 28 with us."

Photo credit: BBC

Colin is probably best remembered for his on-screen relationship with Barry Clark, with the pair sharing the first ever gay kiss on a British soap opera in 1987.

Their romance has since been credited with helping to change perceptions of gay relationships at the time, and Lord Cashman is pleased that the BBC were brave enough to pursue this back in the 80s.

He said: "It broke the mould and it showed that the BBC had the courage to stand up against the onslaught of the media, the ignorance of campaigners who wanted to hold the world back, and some religions who wanted to use their theology in a perverse way to deny people's places in society."

EastEnders continues tonight (July 17) at 8pm on BBC One.

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