On the gaydio

Kerrie L Marsh reveals what it's like playing gay on Radio 4 sitcom To Hull And Back


Left: Kerrie L Marsh. Centre: Lucy Beaumont. Right: Maureen Lipman


For the past five years Jean has been a big part of my life, of me, an inner voice you could say. I feel as though I know everything that there is to know about her. Where she grew up, who her best friend is and that she gets a stitch just from tying up her shoelace.


I know all of this because Jean is the role I play in the BBC Radio 4 Sitcom, To Hull And Back. A gay gal comedy character, coming in your ears with a proper northern accent, despite what the Twitter comments say! Though I have to admit! The deepness is indeed put on. I like to think that my natural pattern of speech is a little more colourful than the not-so dulcet tones of Jean.


When writer Lucy Beaumont decided to make Jean a lesbian, I was happy and so excited to be playing a gay character, especially on the radio as it’s not a very LGBT+ populated area in comparison to other mediums such as television and film.


I also have a sneaky suspicion that we set the bar for lesbians on the radio too. Take The Archers for example. It wasn’t long after Jean clumsily fell out of the closet that they bagged themselves a lesbian character also. Coincidence or… the fact that To Hull And Back airs straight after?


Although Jean is a comedy role, and stereotypical in nature, I am stoked to be representing our community in mainstream entertainment. I mean, BBC Radio Comedy! How awesome is that?


Gay visibility or “hearibility” (as one may invent as new radio terminology) is important in all its forms and I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of it.


This just leaves me to say:


These sweeping statements are my own and not those of the BBC!


To Hull and Back series 3 starts Monday 19th February, on BBC Radio 4 at 11.30am.

Follow @Kes_L_Marsh for updates and news.




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