For the first time ever on CBBC, a same-sex kiss between two teenagers has been aired and fans have shared their praise at the lesbian storyline.
On the show The Next Step, two female characters were shown sharing a passionate embrace, as the show explores its first-ever lesbian storyline.
The teenage drama is about wannabe dancers and has been running for seven years on the kids’ channel. However, this is the first time that a lesbian storyline has been explored.
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🏳️🌈 Happy Pride 🏳️🌈 I am so proud and beyond grateful to be playing one of the first LGBTQ+ characters, along with @daniverayo , on @thenextstep . Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I hope to inspire people, especially youth, through this role! Love is Love! #pride #loveislove
The episode in which the romantic exchange is shown, ‘Room Service’, involves Cleo, portrayed by Dani Verayo, 19, and Jude, played by Molly Saunders, 18, who are shown in a romantic dance routine.
The episode premiered on 22 July and showed Cleo and Jude exchanging a heart to heart. As they performed a romantic duet together to ‘Brave’ by Shane Harte, it ends with the pair kissing.
In the episode, Jude says: “Cleo and I are opposites in a lot of ways. Which is why we balance each other.
“I soften her edges, and she’s helped me to dream bigger. Cleo means the world to me […] When I dance with Cleo, I forget about everything. It’s just her. We’re dancing together and all I see is her.”
Cleo added: “When I dance with Jude, I feel safe and free all at the same time.
“When we dance together, it’s like magic.”
The scene in the Canadian TV show has received plenty of praise and one viewer wrote: “This is progress. It will show people that it is just as normal as liking the different gender.”
Another wrote: “YES! I’m so proud of how far The Next Step has come and how it’s helped pioneer CBBC.”
A third added: “When kids have representation like this it honestly makes me so happy because I know there are kids out there who will feel less alone than I did.”
Meanwhile, LGBT charity Stonewall has stated that the scene is “important”.
A BBC spokeswoman said: “CBBC is proud to reflect all areas of children’s lives.”
The first-ever lesbian pre-watershed kiss was aired in 1994 on the TV show Brookside, between Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson.