'EastEnders' writers have spoken of their shock at receiving complaints over a gay kiss which aired on the soap earlier this week.

In scenes during Monday's episode, viewers saw new character Johnny Carter (Sam Strike) struggle to deal with his feelings for Danny Pennant (Gary Lucy) before they eventually kissed.

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Danny and Johnny kissed on Monday night's episode

Pete Lawson, who wrote the episode, said on Twitter: "2014, and gay teens kissing on a soap still draws complaints. Makes me even prouder to have written that ep."

Another writer on the soap, Daran Little, also tweeted: "10 years ago Coronation Street had complaints when I wrote Todd kissing Nick... now complaints about EastEnders gay kiss... no progress.

"I thinks it's encouraging that Hollyoaks gay kisses don't get complaints, cos its viewers are young and accepting," he wrote.

The BBC were also forced to defend airing Monday's episode in a post-watershed slot, insisting it had nothing to do with the kiss, but was to accommodate family film 'Shrek Forever After'.

A spokesperson for the soap said: "'EastEnders' aims to reflect real life, and this means including and telling stories about characters from many different backgrounds, faiths, religions and sexualities," she added.

"We approach our portrayal of homosexual relationships in exactly the same way as we do heterosexual relationships; ensuring depictions of affection or sexuality between couples are suitable for pre-watershed viewing."

eastenders

Johnny will come out to dad Mick in Friday's episode

The current storyline will now see Johnny come out to his parents Mick (Danny Dyer) and Linda (Kellie Bright), after his sister Nancy (Maddy Hill) exposed his secret during a family row.

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  • The Brannings are still reeling from the death of Derek on Christmas Day, and the arrival of Max's secret wife Kirsty.

  • Zainab and Masood's marriage falls apart, after he is tempted by their young lodger Ayesha, leading to the matriarch's decision to return to Pakistan with their son Kamil.

  • Bianca Butcher is beside herself when son Liam joins a gang. There is even more worry when the gang turn on him, and he is hospitalised after being stabbed.

  • In a desperate attempt to stop Max from returning to ex-wife Tanya, Kirsty fakes a pregnancy.

  • Jack Branning jilts Sharon Rickman after realising he doesn't love her as much as his incarcerated ex-wife Ronnie. Sharon then falls back into her ex Phil's arms, but he kicks her and son Dennis out when she develops a painkiller addiction.

  • Tanya Branning bids ex Max an emotional farewell as she leaves the Square to help daughter Lauren with her battle against alcoholism.

  • Phil Mitchell's life hangs in the balance after he is involved in a car crash with nasty Carl White, leading to a one-off return from his mum Peggy.

  • Ronnie Mitchell is released from prison after three years. She soon reunites with ex-husband Jack, only for things eventually to fall apart, leaving to his departure from Walford.

  • David Wicks makes a shock return to the Square and makes a play for ex Carol Jackson, who is in a relationship with Masood Ahmed.

  • After discovering Michael and Alice's plan to murder her, Janine kills her husband and frames Alice for her dastardly deed.

  • Kat and Alfie Moon are finally reunited after he leaves Roxy Mitchell on their wedding day to stop his ex-wife from leaving the country.

  • As revenge for his treatment of Roxy, Phil decides to take revenge on Alfie by selling The Vic, leading to the arrival of the Carter family, headed up by new landlord Mick (Danny Dyer).