Julian Assange returning to Neighbours

LONG-RUNNING Neighbours character Julian Assange, best remembered for a storyline where he revealed Erinsborough’s secrets, is returning to the soap. 

The white-haired Assange, who ran a site called Ramseyleaks, caused mayhem during his previous run when he revealed confidential information including Harold Bishop faking his own death and Jim Robinson’s Vietnam war record.

Viewer Carolyn Ryan said: “Fantastic to see him back, such a distinctive character and so believable. In a Neighbours context.

“He was introduced shortly after the plane crash storyline, as a focused computer hacker determined to destabilise the power structure of the Lassiter’s complex which reduces humans to living slaves, so he started publishing anonymous stories a bit like Bridgerton. 

“His revelations made him a key suspect in the attempted murder of Paul Robinson, but when he tried to frame Toadfish for it the street turned against him and he fled for the Ecuadorian embassy in one of the show’s more credibility-straining departures.

“Apparently now he’s out of prison and picking up where he left off. He’s already revealed that Mike isn’t really a motorcycle tour guide in London and is in fact a respected Hollywood actor. So that bit’s been ruined.”

She added: “I used to watch the lunchtime one and then spoil it for everyone in school by telling them what happened. So I quite like him.”

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How attitudes to gay kisses on screen have changed, according to your dad

USED to be you’d be up until 1am to see a couple of lasses kissing, now it’s on prime time. And the men. Your retired dad explains how it’s all changed: 

My Beautiful Launderette (1985)

Back in the day, this put me right off my chicken Kievs. Thought it was a nice little comedy and then it’s blokes kissing with tongues. I realise now that this sort of prejudice is a terrible thing, but I couldn’t use a laundrette for years for fear of being bummed by a punk.  

Maurice (1987)

I was expecting posh totty and World War One, and I got Hugh Grant being gayer than he was in Paddington 2. Still, once the nausea had passed, I concluded if I had to have sex with a bloke at gunpoint I could do worse than Hugh. So it definitely made me more accepting of them.

The Crying Game (1992)

I’ll admit I didn’t see it coming, the fit bird being a man. With hindsight it’s a film with an important message: don’t join the IRA because it’s difficult to leave. Also love can transcend gender and all that, but it’s the IRA bit that drives the plot.  

Brookside (1994)

It was Brookside that most changed my attitudes toward homosexuality on TV. Who could not be moved to reconsider their views by Anna Friel snogging Nicola Stephenson? Though I was disappointed it didn’t raise zombie Trevor Jordache from the dead to rampage the close. If you think that sounds unlikely you didn’t see 90s Brookside. 

Queer as Folk (1999)

By this stage I was fully open-minded and knew about rimming. Expected this would just be gays being really gay in Manchester, but it had an actual story and, unlike Russell T Davies’s recent Doctor Who stuff, it had the advantage for the viewer of letting them know what the f**k was going on.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2001)

Two of the women who aren’t Buffy make out, and your dad was totally cool with it. Sat back and enjoyed it if I’m honest. Apparently it was groundbreaking, but not on my sofa. Course, it’s a shame it wasn’t Buffy herself, that would have been the brave move to advance gay rights further. 

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Technically it’s a cowboy film, but actually what’s being rustled up into the old corral is gayness. I confess I wasn’t expecting enthusiastic buggery in a tent, but who is? Didn’t really start a trend for gay cowboy movies. Stands sort of on its own, like Wild Wild West. 

Doctor Who (2024)

By now I’ve seen so many gay kisses that when Ncuti Gatwa snogged that Hamilton lad I just thought, ‘Good for you, poofs.’ That’s how enlightened and progressive my views are now. Also that Millie Gibson’s got a smashing rack and should be in a tight top more often. Whatever her sexual preferences.