ENTERTAINMENT
01/03/2015 08:36 GMT | Updated 01/03/2015 08:59 GMT

'EastEnders' To Introduce Its First Ever Transgender Character, To Be Played By Trans Actor

'EastEnders' is set to have its first ever transgender-based storyline.

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Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has revealed that he intends to introduce the first trans character in the soap's 30-year history, and hopes to have a transgender actor to play them.

During a discussion at Student Pride over the weekend, he explained: "I would want to cast a trans actor… you have to - you have to cast a trans actor, but you also don't want to mess up the story because it reaches so many people and a lot of our audience are quite traditional.

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"The power of 'EastEnders' is that we can change the world a little. You can change it gently and influence people who may be quite bigoted."

He also revealed that research is currently being done so that the storyline is handled sensitively, explaining: "We are looking at a trans storyline.

"What I like to do on 'EastEnders'… is do all our research first. We try and do our research and get it all in our heads ."

'Coronation Street' introduced its first transgender resident in 1998, with Julie Hesmondhalgh receiving critical acclaim for her portrayal of Hayley Cropper, until she left the soap last year.

As well as 'Corrie', 'Hollyoaks' got its first trans character earlier this year, when Blessing Chambers came out as a transgender woman.

However, neither of those soaps have cast transgender actors, nor have they portrayed trans men.

Iconic Transgender Moments