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'Enders star: 'Sean Tully is a stereotype'

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'Enders star: 'Sean Tully is a stereotype'
EastEnders actor John Partridge has claimed that Coronation Street's Sean Tully is a "stereotype" of a homosexual man.

In an interview with Attitude magazine, Partridge conceded that the Weatherfield character does represent some members of the gay community, but added that his Walford alter ego Christian Clarke has been carefully crafted to be the opposite of Sean.

Sean, played by Antony Cotton, first appeared in Coronation Street in 2003 before becoming a permanent fixture on the soap a year later.

Meanwhile, Partridge's character Christian was created in 2008 by former EastEnders boss Diederick Santer. The barman is currently involved in a high-profile gay plot with practising Muslim Syed Masood (Marc Elliott).

Reflecting on the differences between the two characters, Partridge commented: "What I didn't want as a stereotype was what I call a teatime gay. The Sean Tully type of character is the reason my character is here.

"I've worked in theatre for 20 years and there are lots of queens in the West End that look and act like that. I'm not going to diss his performance or his style, or say 'Who does he think he's representing?' because he is representing one of those shades of gay.

"It may not be your taste, but if that character hadn't happened and been so successful, I don't think the BBC would have gone, 'Right, we need a gay character'."

Of the current Syed and Christian plotline, he added: "It's groundbreaking for a soap to address sexuality and religion. I'm a gay man, my family are Christians, and I'm sure there's a part of them that goes, 'I don't really agree with that,' but they get on with it."

In October last year, Partridge said that he felt "immensely proud" of the story. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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