Words: Hugh Kaye
It’s a while since we’ve had anything approaching a gay storyline in Walford, even with the return of Ben Mitchell – not only has the actor portraying him changed but so has is personality and outlook on life.
He’s gone from a scarred, frightened, somewhat introverted guy into some sort of budding Kray twin. Not to mention he seems to have found a cure for the “profound deafness” he was supposedly born with.
So, accept the crumbs in EastEnders (BBC1, Tues 28 May, 7.30pm) when Cathy buys the Albert with the £100k she got for her necklace and announces her plan to turn it into a gay bar.
Amateur strip nights, anyone? Maybe Johnny Carter might even spend one of his university holidays at home, as all other students do!
Talking of the future, it’s now 2026 in Years and Years (BBC1, Tues 28 May, 9pm) and among all the political upheaval, Daniel (Russell Tovey) receives some distressing news about boyfriend Viktor (Maxim Baldry).
Moving West from Manchester, in Young, Welsh and Pretty Religious (BBC1, Tues 28 May, 11pm), three youngsters reveal how Islamophobia, antisemitism and homophobia have affected them. Has Tuesday became television’s gay day?
On a similar note, five mothers, aged between 32 and 46, who’ve been given a makeover and are trying to see life through their daughters’ eyes, are challenged to accept differences as they explore sexuality and gender in 21 Again (BBC1, Weds 29 May, 10.35pm).
There’s some good - if old-school – music to enjoy too. TOTP2: 80s Special (BBC2, Mon 27 May, 10.30pm) promises hits from the likes of Culture Club, Kylie, Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz, and Wham!
And someone has raided the archives to bring us a mix of sessions with the Rocket Man himself in Elton John at the BBC (BBC4, Fri 31 May, 8pm).