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Holby City criticised by viewers for ‘too many gay characters’

By Ross Semple

The BBC has come to the defence of medical drama Holby City after viewers complained about the amount of LGBT+ characters.

The show has increased its LGBT+ representation in recent years, with gay characters played by David Ames, who is gay himself, and Lee Mead joining the cast.

In an interview with the Daily Star, the BBC’s head of continuing drama, Oliver Kent, said: “I am involved in Holby City and we had complaints recently because it was deemed by some viewers that we had too many gay characters.

“And that’s because at the time we had two gay love stories. We had four characters out of 17. I don’t think that’s disproportionate.”

In fact, Oliver believes that the show should have more LGBT+ characters, rather than fewer. “What we could do more is represent bisexual characters,” he said. “That is what we could be better at exploring.

“I don’t think we have quite got that as right yet as we could. I think we could probably be better at that. I don’t know how but I think we could.”

Holby City fans were surprised earlier this year when nurse Ben ‘Lofty’ Chiltern was revealed to be gay.

The character, played by West End star Lee Mead, appeared on Casualty from 2014-16 before making the transition to the medical drama’s sister show earlier this year following a year-long break.

After a patient, Lenny, was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains it quickly became clear that the two characters already knew each other, with it eventually emerging that Lofty had been due to marry Lenny’s siter before leaving her at the altar.

There was a big twist in store however, as Lenny and Lofty proved their own romantic connection as they locked lips in a passionate (and, erm, rather unprofessional) kiss.

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