Exclusive: Coronation Street’s Channique Sterling-Brown on interracial dating backlash

Coronation Street spoilers follow.

Coronation Street star Channique Sterling-Brown has responded to the interracial dating backlash surrounding her character Dee-Dee Bailey's romance with newcomer Joel.

In recent weeks Dee-Dee became romantically involved with Joel, who is played by former Hollyoaks star Calum Lill.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy for the documentary Breaking Through with Zeze Millz, Sterling-Brown opened up about the new storyline saying there have been some "bizarre" fan reactions to the relationship.

joel deering, dee dee bailey, coronation street

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"The dating storyline is really fun. Calum Lill, who plays Joel, is wonderful. We're getting on like a house on fire," Sterling-Brown said.

"I saw some comments about us being an interracial couple. Almost like: 'An interracial couple on the Street – God forbid.' I just thought it's so bizarre, because the relationship had nothing to do with race. It really is just about two people who have found each other, and are really in that loved-up, gross honeymoon phase," she continued.

"It's really nice to be able to play that without… I think as a Black woman in the industry, I think we do put constraints on ourselves on how we're going to be presented, especially romantically.

dee dee bailey joel deering, coronation street

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"So whether we are the sexual interest or just the friend-zoned woman or whatever, I feel like we're often hypersexualised or under-sexualised as Black female characters. So, again, it's really nice to have this authentic relationship for Dee-Dee and Joel. It's just normal. I really, really do love that. I think it's so important to, obviously, present culture.

"I hate when people are like: 'You're playing the race card.' No one's making it about race. People just see 'other' and they assume that's what it is. But it's literally not about that at all. And that's the same situation I feel with Dee-Dee. There is no race storyline that I've had, because she's just a Black female solicitor. That's who she is."

Breaking Through with Zeze Millz will air on ITV1 October 11 at 10:45pm. Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

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