Kieron Richardson inspired by Joe

Kieron Richardson at Inside Soap Awards

Kieron Richardson at Inside Soap Awards

'Hollyoaks' actor Kieron Richardson has revealed he was inspired to admit he was gay by 'X Factor' winner Joe McElderry, who came out this year.

Kieron Richardson was inspired to come out as gay by Joe McElderry.

The 'Hollyoaks' actor - who revealed his sexuality live on television earlier this month - realised when the 'X Factor' winner was brave enough to tell the world he was homosexual he could also come out without it ruining his career.

Kieron - who plays Ste Hay in the Channel 4 soap - told BANG Showbiz: "I'd never seen anyone my age say it before and then when Joe McElderry came out and said it I thought, 'Maybe I can be young and come out and say I'm gay and it's not going to affect my career.'

"I'd say he helped me in the fact that he was a similar age to me. Seeing him do it really inspired me."

The 24-year-old star - who has been in a relationship with another man for the past four years - admitted he used to "dodge the question" when fans asked about his sexuality.

Speaking at the 2010 Inside Soap Awards at London's Shaka Zulu venue, he said: "All the people who cared about me already knew and the people who don't care about me didn't need to know. I was never going to hide it, I thought it was time to be open and honest and say, 'Yeah guys, I am gay.'

"People in the street used to ask me and I used to kind of dodge the question because I didn't know whether I was allowed to say."

Kieron's co-stars Claire Cooper (Jacqui McQueen), Anthony Quinlan (Gilly Roach) and Bronagh Waugh (Cheryl Brady) were just some of the stars in attendance at the awards ceremony last night (27.09.10).

'EastEnders' was the big winner on the evening scooping six prizes, including the prestigious Best Soap honour.


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