My Family's Michael announces he's gay!
Ben and Susan Harper are in for a shock this week when their youngest son, Michael, announces he’s gay! We chatted to Gabriel Thomson, who's played Michael for the past 10 years, about his character's big coming out... How does Michael's secret come out? "It's a drunken confession! Michael comes home drunk and Ben's up and going on about how similar they are and Michael's decided now is the time to tell him we're not that similar and here's why!" How does Ben react to the news that his son is gay? "The fun of the episode is Ben's reaction. He doesn't react how you'd expect him to! He's incredibly understanding!" What about Susan? "Susan is a bit more confused by the situation – and more confused that Ben is so understanding and being the better parent! He tries a little too hard, bless him!" Did you foresee Michael announcing he was gay? "No, I didn't! It's a great way to go with the character. There's a shelf-life on being the smart, younger kid – especially as he's 23! There's lots more stuff to come for him as a result, too." What was your favourite scene of the episode to film? "I really enjoyed the coming out scene. There's also a scene with Susan where I am having to come out again to my Mum as she's upset I didn't come out to her first. That was a lot of fun to film. The whole story is really well dealt with and very funny. I think it's a great episode." Who makes you laugh most on set? "Everyone's pretty hysterical. Keiron Self (who plays dentist Roger) is pretty hilarious as is Robert (Lindsay, who plays dad Ben). Robert is the worst for making me laugh during a scene." You started in the series when you were 13 and have had Robert Lindsay playing your dad for the past 10 years. Has Robert become a father figure in real life? "Maybe an irresponsible dad! A ridiculous father figure! No, he's great. When we get back on set to film it's very family-like." What have you been up to inbetween filming My Family? "I've been touring with two Shakespeare plays – As You Like It and Merry Wives Of Windsor – and we recently took it to Norway." We love watching you – but what do you enjoy watching? "I love a lot of American TV – The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, they're all amazing TV." This episode of My Family can be seen on Friday July 16 at 9pm on BBC1
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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.