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article imageUK sitcom character to announce he's gay

By Andrew John     Apr 15, 2010 in Entertainment
A character in the long-running BBC sitcom My Family is to come out as gay, after writers were told to make the show more edgy.
Michael Harper (played by Gabriel Thomson, 23), who is the youngest son of characters Ben (Robert Lindsay) and Susan (Zoë Wannamaker), will tell his family he is gay at the start of the tenth series, sources have reportedly told the Daily Mail.
So far, the character’s given no indication he might be gay, and, in recent series, has been portrayed as something of a ladies’ man.
A new writing team has been drafted onto the sitcom to make it more “edgy and relevant,” according to the unnamed source. “We were given a brief to turn the show into something a younger audience would relate to and watch. This is just one of the storylines we have come up with. It’s handled very sensitively.”
The gay-lobby group Stonewall has welcomed the development, telling the Daily Mail: “It’s refreshing that My Family will be reflecting modern Britain in their next series.”
The popular sitcom, which has been produced by the BBC since 2000 and celebrated its 100th episode in 2009, follows the day-to-day life of a middle-aged Chiswick dentist and his chaotic family. Thomson has played the Harpers’ youngest son since the very first episode.
Robert Lindsay came to prominence in the 1970s, playing the eponymous role in John Sullivan’s Citizen Smith. Wannamaker – who is the daughter of the late American actor and film director Sam Wannamaker – is also well known for her parts in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (Madame Hooch) and Doctor Who (Lady Cassandra). Kris Marshall played the Harpers’ eldest son, Nick, until 2005, and will return in Series 9, which is expected to air in the UK later this year.
More about Family, BBC, British broadcasting corporation, Michael harper, Gabriel thomson
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