Home and Away star hints at more gay characters

Rianne Houghton
Photo credit: Channel 5

From Digital Spy

Ahead of Home and Away's first LGBTQ+ storyline in nine years, one of the Aussie soap's staple stars has hinted that there could be a more diverse cast on the horizon.

Speaking to Australia's TV Tonight, Home and Away's Shane Withington – who has played John Palmer since 2009 – said the series' approach to inclusion is "very promising".

"I think the way [the upcoming storyline] has been received is very promising, so I applaud them. We're a rainbow nation, we should be a rainbow soap opera," he said.

Reflecting on the number of LGBTQ+ characters currently in Summer Bay, Withington said: "I wonder why there isn't a resident gay character, but I'm too meagre on the food chain to be in control of that. I really don't know.

Photo credit: Channel 5

"I would say it will only be a matter of time before we have someone who is not the only gay in the Bay."

The storyline, which has already aired in Australia, will follow John and Marilyn's foster child Ty Anderson as he comes out to his family after making a move on his friend Ryder Jackson.

Digital Spy recently caught up with Lukas Radovich, who plays Ryder, for a UK exclusive chat about his role in Ty's storyline.

"I was really excited to be part of a new storyline – something that hasn't been done before, and something that I could explore with a TV show which is such a part of Australian culture," he told us.

Photo credit: Channel 5

[Lukas Radovich as Ryder Jackson in Home and Away]

Radovich said that he thinks Home and Away has a "responsibility" to tackle LGBTQ+ storylines to "normalise every type of culture and sexual orientation".

"Australia is a very diverse place," he added. "[So] I think it's fantastic that they're able to create stories to change people's perception."

Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5.

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