John Barrowman has defended his controversial gay romp in 'Torchwood'.

The actor - who plays racy bisexual Captain Jack Harkness in the BBC One drama - insists the scene in which his alter-ego enjoys a tryst with a hunky barman is not gratuitous, even though bosses have axed it amid fears of a viewer backlash.

It's not gratuitous sex, it facilitates the story. It's nothing they grab just to put on the camera and sensationalise it.

He said: "It's not gratuitous sex, it facilitates the story. It's nothing they grab just to put on the camera and sensationalise it."

John also revealed how viewers of the show will soon be able to find out more Jack's character as the series goes on.

He added to The Sun newspaper: "You go back into history with Jack and you discover an integral relationship that is part and parcel to what is happening. It's a massive story."

The controversial sex scene - which was due to go out just 20 minutes after the 9pm watershed - has already been shown on US cable channel Starz but BBC bosses have decided to axe it.

A source said: "It wasn't that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact it was such an explicit sex scene, full stop. You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can't on primetime BBC One.

"Even though the show airs after the watershed, it has a lot of young fans who would have been shocked at the graphic nature of the sex."