Emmerdale fans in tears as they praise soap for Arthur’s coming out scene

Emmerdale fans took to social media on Monday to celebrate how Arthur Thomas’s coming out storyline unfolded, with one dubbing the touching moment “beautifully sensitive.”

This week, Alfie Clarke’s character Arthur came out after April Windsor, played by Amelia Flanagan, admitted she had a crush on him.

During a sit-down chat with Nicola King, played by Nicola Wheeler since 2001, Arthur enjoyed a game of hangman as the two chatted about April’s crush.

Later in the episode, Arthur spelt out “I am gay” in the game while also asking to keep it a secret from his mother Laurel, played by Charlotte Bellamy since 2002.

Nicola replied: “It's your life, but if Laurel was here now, she'd wrap you in her arms and tell you to dry those tears.

“When you are ready to come out, if you need me to be there, you just say the word.”

The moment brought Arthur’s story full circle after first appearing on the show back in 2007 when he was played by Billy Harrower.

From 2008 to 2009, Arthur’s character was then played by Luis Townley.

While the touching moment certainly warmed the hearts of fans, trouble could be on the horizon as the conversation was overheard by Elliot Windsor (Luca Hoyle).

Fans took to social media following the episode where they celebrated the landmark moment, with one penning: “Had a feeling Arthur was gay but that was a really lovely scene how he came out to Nicola.”

Another said: “So beautifully done tonight with Arthur on #emmerdale he's a great young fella and I cried for him. I didn't like the way though that Elliot found the sheet.

"Hope now this storyline is done properly, no bullying please. So impressed with Nicola. Great acting by Arthur.”

A third wrote: “Arthur coming out to Nicola was really sweet and was dealt with very sensitively. I have no idea who the kid was that overheard them (Not a regular viewer any more) but I hope Emmerdale don’t do some disgusting outing/bullying story but I suspect this is where it’ll lead.”

“I just caught up with tonight’s #Emmerdale, and was moved by the fantastic acting of Arthur coming out to Nicola,” someone else tweeted, adding: “Perfectly scripted, right down to her (characteristically) tooting about her own importance. Great stuff.”

"Lovely episode of #emmerdale tonight – I love how it was Nicola he chose – she’s always loved the gays ! In more ways than one although it might go pear shaped for young Arthur soon now the other boy knows,” another soap fan wrote.

Someone else concluded with: “'I have to commend #Emmerdale on the beautifully sensitive handling of Arthur's coming out,' remarked another viewer. 'Superb performances from Nicola Wheeler & Alfie Clarke showing fear and confusion balanced by solidarity and support. This will help lots of young people, and I applaud it.”

Soaps have come a long way in recent years after Brookside’s Gordon Collins, played by Nigel Cowley at the time, became the first openly gay soap character in 1985.


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