Belfast Telegraph

Daniel Brocklebank: I’ve had death threats

Coronation Street’s Daniel Brocklebank has faced some backlash for playing a gay clergyman in the soap.

The 35-year-old actor stars as Billy Mayhew in the ITV soap. The character is a member of the clergy and in a relationship with Rovers Return barman Sean Tully. But Daniel, who is gay in real life too, has revealed that not everyone is happy with his alter ego or storylines.

“Somebody tweeted me the other day and said they wanted to kick ‘that f*ggy Sean’s head in and crucify the shirt-lifting vicar.' I thought: ‘Crucify?’ God, we can have a coffee first?” he told British newspaper The Daily Star. “I get a lot of stuff from right-wing Christian groups too.”

However Daniel, who has also appeared in films including Shakespeare in Love, tries not to get upset by the vile comments. Instead, he copes with the trolls by making fun of them.

“There have been dark periods of my life where people and society have told me it is absolutely wrong and I had nobody to turn to,” he said. “You learn to try and deflect things with humour.”

The role hasn't been an entirely negative experience for the actor though. Daniel appreciates the opportunity to meet people in real life who are in the same position as Billy.

“I am now in touch with several gay vicars who are thankful that Coronation Street are highlighting the issue of gay clergy,” he said. “Religion is not gay-friendly but with a character like mine it is opening people’s eyes. There are many gay Christians, Muslims and Catholics and it is all right to have a faith.”

Daniel is enjoying helping push the boundaries on the soap, and he is hopeful that in the future, Billy and Sean will tie the knot to take things even further into new territory for the ITV show.

“There has never been a gay wedding on the show before,” he added.

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From Belfast Telegraph