Skip to main content

EastEnders star says Sean Tully's a gay stereotype

EastEnders star says Sean Tully's a gay stereotype
EastEnders star says Sean Tully's a gay stereotype (Image credit: UK Press/Press Association Image)

EastEnders star John Partridge, who plays Walford muscle man Christian Clarke, has labelled Coronation Street's camp Sean Tully a 'stereotype'. The actor said his character was created in response to the Weatherfield factory machinist, played by Antony Cotton, but he was told to play the role differently. John told Attitude (opens in new tab) magazine: "What I didn't want as a stereotype was what I call a tea-time 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.'" However, the 38-year-old admitted that his vest-wearing character might be seen as a gay stereotype too. "The vest thing was my idea. It was my way of saying, 'I'm here. I'm gay.'" Get EastEnders storylines first! Sign up to receive our EastEnders Extra newsletter (opens in new tab) Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop (opens in new tab)

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 


An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.