EastEnders’s first transgender actor Riley Carter Millington has been filming today alongside Walford regular Lacey Turner.
Millington, who plays Albert Square newcomer Kyle, is to share churchyard-set scenes with Stacey Branning that will air later this year.
The BBC1 soap announced yesterday that Millington will first be seen on screen in October, but will make a permanent return by the end of 2015.
The 21-year-old actor has made UK TV history by being the first ever transgender actor to play a transgender character in a continuing role on a soap opera.
Speaking on Friday, Riley Carter Millington said: “I am extremely excited to be joining EastEnders. I can honestly say that I have now fulfilled my two biggest dreams – to be living my life as a man and to be an actor.
“I cannot wait to really get stuck in with filming and I look forward to seeing what is in store for my character.”
Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins added: “[Story producer] Alex Lamb and his team have worked with Riley to create an EastEnders character who is fresh and relatable – but also comes with his own stock of secrets and is going to be thrown right into one of our biggest stories for the end of the year.
“I hope that the audience will take Riley and his character to their hearts as quickly as everyone here at EastEnders has done.”
Other British soaps to have featured transgender characters include Coronation Street (Hayley Cropper became the first transgender character in soap during 1998) and Hollyoaks (Jason Costello). Both were played by actors (Julie Hesmondhalgh and Victoria Atkin), who were not transgender.
Upcoming episodes of Hollyoaks will, however, see transgender actress Annie Wallace join the cast to play trans teacher.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.