EastEnders is famous for making soap history – and nearly 30 years ago, they did just that.
In 1994, the BBC programme introduced Binnie and Della, a lesbian couple, played by Sophie Langham and Michelle Joseph. And it’s fair to say the all-female romance made plenty of headlines.
So much so when the soap screened it’s first-ever lesbian kiss. Loyal legion of fans may recall how the pair locked lips in a steamy bedroom session.
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While Binnie was out and proud to be gay, the same couldn’t be said for Della. The shy and retiring former hairdresser was not keen to tell everyone about her relationship with Bonnie.
The duo featured in 68 episodes of EastEnders and were on the soap for just under two years. And much to the delight of fans, the pair left the square for Ibiza together as a happy couple in 1995.
Michelle, now aged 53, is from South London. She bagged the role of Walford resident Della when she was just 24-years-old.
After she left EastEnders, she played WPC Ronnie Lonnegan in A Touch of Frost in 2002. And in 2008 she took on the role of Sister Anne in TV series Apparitions.
Michelle also had minor roles in TV shows including the likes of The Bill and Holby City. And like many fellow soap stars she appeared in Brummie-based soap Doctors in 2007.
More recently though, it appears Michelle has turned her back on acting. Instead, she is focusing on fighting to improve mental health services in Britain.
Michelle is a patient representative at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She’s also spoken publicly about homelessness, being a patient in a psychiatric ward and her experience of racism in the UK.
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As for Michelle’s on-screen girlfriend Sophie, she’s continued a career in TV. She has gone on to star in shows like Jonathan Creek, Doctors, Holby City and The Bill. And in 2017, she turned her hand to being a children's author, releasing The Tale of the Pirate Grave.
Since Binnie and Della's relationship in EastEnders, there's been several other same-sex romances to blossom in the square. In 2009, Syed Masood (Marc Elliott) faced a major conflict between his faith and feelings, as he fell in love with Christian Clarke (John Partridge). And more recently, Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) started a romance with Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal).
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