As fans of EastEnders will most likely know, former Footballers’ Wives star Gary Lucy has joined the cast of the BBC1 soap in the role of city banker Danny Pennant…
And we’re set to meet him for the first time this week as Danny and some of his work colleagues go for a meal at Walford’s, Argee Bhajee which is where Danny will meet Syed for the first time.
It has of course been revealed that Danny and Syed (Marc Elliott) will feel “an instant attraction” and it’s been rumoured that Danny could be the reason that Syed and his gay partner Christian (John Partridge) decide to leave Walford for good later this year.
However, in today’s TV Biz, Gary has revealed – bless him – that he was so nervous about filming his first kiss with a man that he couldn’t sleep the night before the shoot!
He said, “It was the first time I’d kissed a guy, so it was different…
“The night before I just had to tell myself: ‘Right, I’m going to work and kiss a bloke’ — all night.
“Fortunately, Marc is a really nice, easy-going guy. We ran the scenes a few times and it was absolutely fine. It wasn’t awkward at all.
“You’re into the scene and the character… so you just get on with it. But, as I would with a female character, I saved the actual kiss for the last take.
“You don’t want to peak too early!”
And now, it seems Gary would be happy to play more roles as a gay man.
He said, “Now I’ve had a taste of playing a gay character in EastEnders I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to playing one again.
“It’s something completely different and I’m glad I’ve ticked that box. You never know what might come up in the future.
“I did warn some of my friends and family — the ones I can trust not to tell anyone — what was going to happen with Danny and Syed.
“Luckily my mum thought it was great. She loves me being in the show, because she’s a massive fan. We grew up with it in our household.”
With regard to the possibility that Danny will put a spanner in Chryed’s works, Gary said, “I have been warned that there are some quite obsessive fans of Syed and Christian’s relationship who don’t want them to split.
“I don’t know if I’m ready for the backlash — but this is such a good opportunity to come in and ruffle feathers that I just couldn’t turn it down.
“It has been a good experience and a fantastic challenge.
“I have no idea if Danny could be a permanent resident in Walford — but he is a great character to play.”
Here’s a sneak peek look at the first scenes of Gary playing Danny…
In other news from Walford way, but staying with the theme of all things gay, former ‘Enders star Lacey Turner, who of course played Stacey Slater, will be playing the role of a lesbian in new ITV2 drama, Switch.
In it, Lacey plays Stella, who’s described as being “a go-getting advertising worker with a stressful job and a bitch for a boss.”
However, Stella also happens to be a witch, and in Switch, we see her juggling her ‘normal’ existence with her supernatural powers.
Stella and her three flat mates who are also witches – including Hannah who’s played by former Hollyoaks star Hannah Tointon – try to survive in a big city while holding down jobs and boyfriends and simultaneously seeing off their arch-enemies, the posh sirens of Kensington.
TV Biz adds, “Sometimes the odd spell helps but in Episode Four of the series, which is airing this autumn, it emerges that Lacey’s character is gay.”
The show’s executive producer Rob Pursey said of the revelation that Stella’s gay, “It’s no big deal – suddenly she introduces her flatmates to her new girlfriend and nobody bats an eyelid.”
Meanwhile, Lacey said that she was happy with the character, adding, “I have never played anyone gay but it’s not a big deal.
“It’s the same as playing anyone else – only your love interest is a woman.”