WHEN I revealed last year that EastEnders would be opening a gay bar, I also predicted it would only be a matter of time until it held its first Pride parade.
And it looks as if show boss Kate Oates has been listening.
The BBC1 soap is set to hold an LGBTQ march this year to tie in with London’s gay pride event in the first week of July.
A show source said: “It’s going to be a huge event on the square filled with joy.
“Kate thought that with Walford’s London identity it was a natural fit to tie in the two. But, as with any event on Albert Square, there is certain to be plenty of drama happening alongside the
Kate has previously spoken about her plans to reflect “multi-cultural London” after taking over on the soap.
She said: “I’m really interested in bringing some more LGBTQ characters in.
“We’re looking at opening a gay bar on the Square which will be a cool precinct where gay and straight characters can all just hang out.
“It should be something really exciting, really fun, really visual and feel really true to multi- cultural London.”
She brought back gay character Ben Mitchell, played by new actor Max Bowden, too.
A spokesman for Stonewall — the acceptance without exception charity — last night praised the show’s move and said: “It’s been more than 30 years since EastEnders featured the UK’s first on-screen same-sex kiss. So it’s great to hear Walford will be celebrating Pride.”
Cue the clamour for a big musical cameo act . . .
Humes that girl?
HE countdown is on before a fresh line-up of singletons jet off to Majorca for the latest series of Love Island.
Bosses are doing all they can to secure this year’s star – and they have their eyes on the lookalike sister of singer and telly host Rochelle Humes.
ITV2 producers are desperate to have Soph Piper as part of the cast. But Soph is still weighing up with her family whether it is the right move for her career.
An insider revealed: “Bosses are really keen for Soph to be the star of this year’s series.
She’s beautiful and loves meeting new people after working a summer in Ibiza. Last year they had Dani Dyer and her claim to fame with actor dad Danny captured viewers and boasted the show’s ratings.
“This year they’re hoping to do the same with Rochelle’s youngest sister, who’s the spitting image of her.”
Soph already looks every inch a Love Island star, as this sexy snap of her on Instagram wearing a black bikini and shades proves.
Potential suitors may worry Rochelle has dumped DJ hubby Marvin for a spot on the show, they look so alike . . .
Island’s getting curves
ALEXANDRA Cane’s call for curvy girls on Love Island has been listened to.
I’ve been told producers will be recruiting bigger ladies for the new series.
An insider said: “This year is going to be different as the cast will include curvier women viewers can relate to.”
Alexandra, who was on the show last summer, told The Sun last year: “For me, as a size eight, to go into the villa and be the biggest girl is quite shocking.”
This year will be the start of a new era for Love Island stars in their bikinis.
C4’s got street moves
CHANNEL 4 is jumping on the dance show bandwagon with a new documentary.
Its Dance Around The World three-parter sees street dance experts travel the world to find people strutting their stuff in their native countries.
Dua Lipa’s choreographer Suzette Brissett and Rihanna’s backing dancer Kym Jay head to Brazil, South Africa and New York to look at the roots of street dance.
A telly source said: “Dance shows are big business, with thousands upon thousands tuning into Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing On Ice .
“Everyone loves watching their favourite dance style come to life, but very little is revealed about the dances they perform.
“This new show brings viewers a fun and interesting look at the history, culture and people behind these traditional dances from far-flung destinations across the world, which these glossy talent shows have made famous.”
Camera crews are welcome to film me in action after a few pints on a Saturday night.
IN Coronation Street, folk are stunned as Nick is arrested over the fatal factory roof collapse, following the discovery of the health and safety report under the mattress of his bed.
Questioned at the police station, he is accused of plotting with Carla to sabotage the roof for the compensation payout.
Leanne is left feeling conflicted over Nick’s arrest when Shona tells her she heard him telling David he’s done things he’s not proud of.
On Hollyoaks, as the villagers bury Lily, Prince is at odds as he gives the eulogy.
Not only was his wife leaving town with another man when she died, but that other man – Romeo – hasn’t been seen since Prince led him away at gunpoint . . .
WHAT? Planet Child, ITV, 9pm.
WHY? Doctors Chrisand Xand Van Tulleken set youngsters tasks to see if the decline in children’s freedoms affects how well they can learn vital life skills.
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MANY viewers – me included – struggled to see the epic battle in Monday’s Game Of Thrones.
But show cinematographer Fabian Wagner said: “I know it wasn’t too dark because I shot it.”
It was, though.