EastEnders star Kellie Bright: "Linda wouldn't say she was homophobic"

The actress talks to Radio Times about the fractious relationship between pub landlady Linda and her gay son Johnny

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EastEnders star Kellie Bright: "Linda wouldn't say she was homophobic"
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EastEnders star Kellie Bright has revealed that she had initial concerns about her character Linda Carter’s objections to son Johnny’s sexuality.

“I don’t have the same opinions as Linda and I was a bit concerned about how it would come across. But you have to be able to reach everybody who watches the show and it wouldn’t have been truthful if all the Carters had been pleased that Johnny is gay,” the actress comments in the new issue of Radio Times. “Linda wouldn’t say she was homophobic – she just doesn’t want it to be her son, which I believe is a far more common reaction in parents than we think.”

Since Johnny came out during scenes shown back in January, Linda has been seen struggling with the news, even going to the extent of inviting Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) over for dinner in a bid to engineer a relationship between the pair. Viewers have also seen Linda’s more accepting husband Mick (Danny Dyer) warn that she needs to accept Johnny’s sexuality or risk losing him for good.

“How I reasoned it in my head was that Johnny is her baby and she’s been very protective of him because he nearly died,” continues Bright. “They have a lot in common and he would be the one she went to musicals with. And when he came out, she felt a bit betrayed and that she’d been lied to for a long time. There was a bit of hurt over that. She felt like she didn’t know this person anymore.”

This week’s episodes of EastEnders will see Johnny pack his bags and prepare to leave town after a fiery confrontation with his mum. But Bright also hints that the storyline could lead off in a fresh direction after the upcoming showdown: “You couldn’t keep going on having the same arguments and fallings out,” she says.